The chairman of the House committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riots said Monday evening that the panel will not refer former President Donald Trump or anyone else to the Justice Department for criminal charges.
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, said the sole aim of the committee’s investigation is to “tell the facts,” not solicit criminal prosecutions.
“If the Department of Justice looks at it, and assume that there’s something that needs further review, I’m sure they’ll do it,” he said.
The committee is hosting a series of hearings this month to unpack its findings after a nearly year-long probe determining that Mr. Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
On Monday, committee members attempted to build a case that which Mr. Trump knowingly peddled false claims that the election was stolen, against the advice of several campaign advisers and administration officials.
Still, Mr. Thompson dialed back expectations about the final outcome of the hearings.
“That’s not our job,” Mr. Thompson was pressed about referring charges to the Justice Department. “Our job is to look at the facts and circumstances around Jan. 6, what caused it, and make recommendations after that.”
But other members on the panel disagree.
Rep. Elaine Luria, Virginia Democrat and member of the committee, wrote on Twitter late Monday that the committee had yet to vote on criminal referrals.
“If criminal activity occurred, it is our responsibility to report that activity to the DOJ,” she said.