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The Jan. 6 committee could refer a criminal case against Trump


Committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) listens to testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, who was an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the course of the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, as she testifies during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to research the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 28, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

It’s still possible that the Jan. 6 committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol makes a criminal referral to the Justice Department against former President Donald Trump, Rep. Liz Cheney said.

“It’s a call that we’ll make together as a committee,” the Wyoming Republican said in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” that aired Sunday.

Committee members have gave the impression to be divided over whether it might potentially refer a case against Trump, who some imagine is accountable for the 2021 attack. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-MS, who chairs the committee, said last month that while if the DOJ examines the hearings and decides to review it further they might, but making a criminal referral is “not our job.”

Others on the committee, including Cheney, quickly shot back, saying that the committee has yet to vote on whether it might recommend criminal referrals to the department.

“There is no query that he engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors,” Cheney told ABC News. “I believe there isn’t any query that it’s essentially the most serious betrayal of his oath of office of any president within the history of the nation. It’s essentially the most dangerous behavior of any president within the history of the nation.”

Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Republicans are reportedly preparing for Trump to announce a bid for reelection in 2024 as early as this summer as damaging revelations proceed to stream out of the Jan. 6 hearings. But when that happens, the GOP likely couldn’t keep operating because it has been, Cheney said.

“I believe that he cannot be the party nominee. And I do not think the party would survive that,” Cheney told ABC News. “I think within the party, and I think in what the party may be and what the party can stand for. And I’m not ready to offer that up.”

“Those of us who imagine in Republican principles and ideals have a responsibility to try to steer the party back to what it could possibly be, and to reject, and to reject a lot of the toxin and the vitriol,” she added.

CNBC reported last week that support from a number of the GOP’s biggest donors for a Trump campaign is dwindling. Republican financiers and their advisors have been privately meeting for the reason that committee began to release the initial findings of its probe, in response to interviews with top fundraisers.

The shortage of interest in supporting the previous president could boost fundraising efforts for other Republican hopefuls.

Cheney acknowledged the opportunity of launching her own presidential bid, but told ABC News that she hasn’t “made a call about that yet.” If she launched a bid, Cheney would join a 2024 GOP field that appears to already be shaping up.

Multiple Republicans could run in 2024, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Tom Cotton.

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