January 6 committee calls for ex-president Donald Trump to face criminal charges

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By Euronews  with AP
A video of former President Donald Trump is screened during the last meeting of the US House committee investigating the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill.
A video of former President Donald Trump is screened during the last meeting of the US House committee investigating the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill.   -  Copyright  AP Photo

The US House’s January 6 committee has urged the country's Justice Department to bring four criminal charges against former president Donald Trump for his role in the violent 2021 Capitol Hill riots.

The move comes after an 18-month inquiry, which included extensive evidence and witness testimonies.

"Every president in our history has defended this orderly transfer of authority except one,” Liz Cheney, Republican vice-chair of the committee, said after the vote.

“January 6, 2021 was the first time one American president refused his constitutional duty to transfer power peacefully to the next.

“No man who would behave that way, at that moment in time, can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again.

"He is unfit for any office."

The bi-partisan committee, which includes seven Democrats and two Republicans, recommended charges that included aiding an insurrection -- an effort to hold Trump directly accountable for the deadly actions of his supporters that day.

The criminal referrals are mostly symbolic, and it will now be up to the Justice Department to decide to on whether or not prosecute the former president.

Trump, for his part, has consistently called the committee “a witch hunt,” and argued that a criminal referral would ultimately help him.

“These folks don’t get it -- that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me. It strengthens me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” he said.

The committee’s vote also comes a month after Trump launched his 2024 Presidential campaign. But early polls suggest Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is leading against him, which could potentially stopping him from bagging his party’s nomination.

Trump could also face the release of six years’ worth of his tax returns and those related to his businesses, which he has worked for years to keep out of the public eye.

Watch Euronews’ report in the video player above to learn more.