- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 24, 2022

Rep. Elaine Luria, a member of the House panel probing last year’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, said Sunday she hopes the Department of Justice is investigating former President Donald Trump for criminal charges and does not need to wait for the committee’s recommendations.

“I sure as hell hope they have a criminal investigation at this point into Donald Trump,” Ms. Luria, Virginia Democrat, told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I have no direct knowledge of the status of their investigations, but what I’d say is I can tell the Department of Justice is watching our hearings closely.”

Members of the committee, which includes GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, have suggested to reporters that they believe there is enough evidence to charge Mr. Trump for inciting the riot and then failing to act to end it.

Through a series of public hearings that have featured damning testimonies and videos, the panel has painted a picture of a president who was complicit in inciting supporters to riot at the Capitol and interrupt the certification of the 2020 election.

It remains to be seen whether the DOJ will charge Mr. Trump, which would be an unprecedented move against a former president. Mr. Trump has plans to run again for president in 2024. 

It is unclear whether there is an active federal probe, but Mr. Trump is potentially facing state criminal charges in Georgia in an investigation centered on his efforts to overturn the results in the state.  

SEE ALSO: Rep. Liz Cheney says 2024 presidential campaign decision will come ‘down the road’

“There have been cases of criminal defendants who have been charged and found guilty for events on Jan. 6, and they have actually quoted testimony from the Jan. 6 witnesses and hearings,” Ms. Luria said. “[Attorney General] Merrick Garland has already told us he’s listening, and if he’s watching today, I’d tell him he doesn’t need to wait on us because I think he has plenty to keep moving forward.”

• Ramsey Touchberry can be reached at rtouchberry@washingtontimes.com.

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