The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S Capitol released its final report shortly after 10 p.m. on Thursday evening, just days before Christmas.
The final report, which culminates an 18-month investigation, details the committee’s findings on the Capitol protests, alleging former President Donald Trump played a key role in motivating it.
“The central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed,” the report reads. “None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Through 814 pages, the committee members — seven Democrats and two Republicans — annotate interviews from more than 1,000 witnesses, information obtained from millions of pages of documents and the contents of 10 public hearings.
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The massive report was released after the committee send referrals to the Justice Department recommending former President Trump be criminally prosecuted.
The referrals include obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the federal government, making a false statement, and inciting, assisting, or aiding and comforting an insurrection.
The committee’s unprecedented criminal referral holds no official legal weight, and a final determination in whether to pursue the charges will be up to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department.
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The committee members include Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, Elaine Luria, D-Va., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., left.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
These are their findings:
In a foreword written by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she said the committee “succeeded” in its intended endeavors.
“The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack has succeeded in bringing clarity and demonstrating with painstaking detail the fragility of our Democracy,” she wrote. “Above all, the work of the Select Committee underscores that our democratic institutions are only as strong as the commitment of those who are entrusted with their care.”
In his own foreword, Chairman Thompson said those who broke into the Capitol “came dangerously close to succeeding” if it were not for the efforts of law enforcement personnel who “put their lives on the line for hours.”
The final report released by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, is photographed Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
Vice Chair Cheney, who has been repeatedly critical of Trump and who has openly considered running for the presidency in 2024, said Trump was the first time America saw a president refuse to peacefully transfer authority after the election.
“Every President in our history has defended this orderly transfer of authority, except one. January 6, 2021 was the first time one American President refused his Constitutional duty to transfer power peacefully to the next,” she wrote.
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She also wrote that some senior officials in the Trump administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, did not condone or cooperate with efforts to remain in power.
“As you read this report, please consider this: Vice President Pence, along with many of the appointed officials who surrounded Donald Trump, worked to defeat many of the worst parts of Trump’s plan to overturn the election. This was not a certainty,” Cheney said.
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The committee also recommended a revision to the Constitution, including a clause be added to the Fourteenth Amendment to prevent individuals identified in the report, namely Trump, from being able to hold office in the future.
The report reads: “Congressional committees of jurisdiction should consider creating a formal mechanism for evaluating whether to bar those individuals identified in this Report under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from holding future federal or state office, The Committee believes that those who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and then, on January 6th, engaged in insurrection can appropriately be disqualified and barred from holding government office—whether federal or state, civilian or military—absent at least two-thirds of Congress acting to remove the disability pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
A video of former President Donald Trump is shown on a screen, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Trump released a statement Thursday, following the report, saying it fails to draw attention to why the protesters were gathering in the first place. He also called it a “Witch Hunt,” echoing his previous criticisms.
“The highly partisan Unselect Committee Report purposely fails to mention the failure of Pelosi to heed my recommendation for troops to be used in D.C., show the ‘Peacefully and Patrioticly’ words I used, or study the reason for the protest, Election Fraud,” he wrote on Truth Social.
Trump formally announced he would be seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidency. He is currently ahead on early polling against other potential candidates, although Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is closing the gap.
The committee released the report just two weeks before the start of the next session of Congress, when Republicans will retake the majority in the House of Representatives.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson, Brianna Herlihy and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.