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Jan. 6 committee is likely to make criminal referrals related to Capitol attack

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, talks to reporters on Nov. 17, 2022.
Drew Angerer
Getty Images
Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, talks to reporters on Nov. 17, 2022.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, told reporters Tuesday the panel is likely to make criminal referrals.

"What we've decided is that we will probably make referrals – as to how many, we've not decided on the number," he said.

Thompson added: "We have not made a decision as to who, but we have made decisions that criminal referrals will happen."

Asked whether there is a list of people the panel is considering for referrals, Thompson said, "Yes, but I can't give them to you right now."

The committee is meeting virtually Tuesday evening to continue discussions on potential criminal referrals. They met on Friday morning behind closed doors to consider a range of topics — including whether to issue potential criminal referrals for former President Trump and others.

The panel is expected to meet throughout this week and could share its plans on criminal referrals by Friday, Thompson said.

Trump, the central player in the panel's investigation into the violence that erupted on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, was subpoenaed by the panel in October. Trump has not cooperated.

The committee has held a series of public hearings laying out its findings and is expected to present a comprehensive report before the end of the month.

Thompson called the report a "work in progress."

"We're actually going over printed material now, scrubbing stuff," he said, noting the report is "quite lengthy" at eight chapters long.

The report is expected to include information that hasn't been made public during the previous hearings and the committee also plans to share hundreds of transcripts of the over 1,000 witnesses it interviewed.

Thompson said the final report will likely be introduced in "some public format," but wouldn't speculate on whether it would take the form of another public committee hearing.

The committee is set to sunset Dec. 31.

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Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.
Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.