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US Capitol riot probe to release final report on assault by Trump backers

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Scenes outside the US Capitol during the January 6 riots

The congressional panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol wraps up its work on Wednesday with a final report outlining its case that former President Donald Trump should face criminal charges of inciting the deadly riot.

The report, to be issued online, is expected to be more than 1,000 pages long, based on nearly 1,200 interviews over 18 months and hundreds of thousands of documents, as well as the rulings of more than 60 federal and state courts.

The report lists 17 specific findings, discusses the legal implications of actions by Trump and some of his associates and includes criminal referrals to the Justice Department of Trump and other individuals. It also identifies legislative recommendations to help avert another such attack.

The report’s release comes two days after the committee asked federal prosecutors to charge the former Republican president with four crimes, including obstruction and insurrection, for efforts to overturn results of the November 2020 election and sparking the attack on the seat of government.

“Rather than honor his constitutional obligation to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ President Trump instead plotted to overturn the election outcome,” the Democratic-led House of Representatives select committee said in a 160-page summary of the report released on Monday.

Trump gave a fiery speech to his supporters near the White House the morning of Jan. 6, and publicly chastised his vice president, Mike Pence, for not going along with his scheme to reject ballots cast for Democrat Joe Biden. Trump then waited hours to make a public statement as thousands of his supporters raged through the Capitol, assaulting police and threatening to hang Pence.

 

‘UNCHARTED WATERS’

With Trump’s fellow Republicans taking control of the House on Jan. 3, the Democratic-led select committee must wrap up its work, and it ended with a bang. Monday marked the first time in U.S. history that a congressional committee referred a former president for criminal charges.

“This committee is nearing the end of its work. But as a country we remain in strange and uncharted waters. We’ve never had a president of the United States stir up a violent attempt to block the transfer of power,” Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, who chairs the Jan. 6 committee, said on Monday.

The committee’s request that Trump be charged does not compel federal prosecutors to act, but comes as a special counsel is overseeing two other federal probes of Trump related to his attempt to overturn his 2020 election defeat by Biden and the removal of classified files from the White House.

Trump has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated. On Monday, he said any prosecution would mean he was improperly being charged twice, after he was impeached last year for a second time but then acquitted in the Senate.

In another congressional inquiry related to Trump, a House of Representatives committee voted on Tuesday to release partially redacted tax filings from Trump and said tax authorities had failed to properly scrutinize his returns while he was in office.

The Ways and Means Committee action includes returns between 2015 and 2021, the years Trump was running for president and serving in the White House, panel members said.

Trump paid $1.1 million in federal income taxes in his frist three years as president and paid no taxes in 2020, as his income dwindled and losses mounted, according to data released by the committee, the New York Times reported.

Trump had fought against releaseing his returns. There was no immediate reaction from Trump or his representatives on the panel’s report.

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