Raskin attributes the dispute over criminal referrals to “semantic confusion.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the House Jan. 6 committee and a constitutional law expert, said Tuesday that there has been “semantic confusion” about the panel’s authority to issue criminal referrals since the beginning.
In court filings, the committee has already stated its belief that former President Trump engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s election victory.
However, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) surprised reporters on Monday when he stated that the committee would not send criminal referrals to the Justice Department because it is “not our job.”
Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and other committee members later clarified that the committee “has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals,” and Raskin himself stated that the decision would most likely be made after the panel’s final report is released later this year.
Raskin stated that there is less disagreement or “divide” among committee members than public confusion about what a criminal referral entails.
He explained that the committee has made official criminal referrals for people who have been held in “contempt of Congress” for ignoring subpoenas, including former Trump officials Peter Navarro, Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, and Dan Scavino.
Raskin also discussed how the committee is approaching its final report, which is expected to lay out the detailed case against Trump and his team, as well as recommendations for preventing a Jan. 6-style incident from occurring again.