What were the findings of January 6 committee? Criminal charges recommendation for Donald Trump explained

The US congressional committee interviewed more than 1,000 people about the events at the Capitol building in 2021 before making its recommendations

The US congressional committee investigating the January 6 riots has recommended that former president Donald Trump should be criminally charged for his role in the storming of the Capitol building. The shocking event, which took place on January 6 2021, saw a crowd of angry rioters storm the historic building to delay the counting of electoral college votes, with five people dying as a result of the violence.

The committee was assembled in July 2021 to establish the cause of the riots and violence. Many of those who were involved in the storming donned Trump apparel and had earlier that day attended a rally held by the former leader, who perpetuated the narrative that the 2020 election was “stolen”.

In its recommendation, the committee said that it believed Trump had been complict in promoting a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the election results. It also added that Trump should be charged with inciting or assisting an insurrection.

The January 6 committee previously subpoenaed Trump to testify. However, he refused to give evidence in person or hand over documents, suing the committee to block the subpoena.

It comes as Trump attempts to return to politics. He made the announcement that he would be running for the 2024 presidential election, despite Republicans appearing to peel away from the former president.

What did the January 6 committee conclude?

The committee announced its findings on 19 December 2022. In its conclusions, members recommended that Trump be charged with four crimes by the US Justice Department.

This included conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to make a false statement and inciting or assisting an insurrection. Committee chair Bernie Thompson said that he hoped the findings would help to “provide the road map to justice”.

Although the committee has recommended Trump be charged with the crimes, the recommendation does not have to be followed by the US Justice Department. If it chooses to do so, the department will make the decision to prosecute Trump itself.

Representative Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee, said: “Ours is not a system of justice where the foot soldiers go to jail and the ringleaders get a free pass.” Some of those who took part in the riots have already been prosecuted.