Congress should consider barring Donald Trump from holding any future office for inciting a violent mob to storm the US Capitol, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack said in its final report.
Released in full late Thursday, the 845-page report is the culmination of an exhaustive 18-month congressional investigation into the insurrection and the former president's central role in it.
The deadly attack was the end result of an effort devised and steered by Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election and block the transfer of power, the committee said. He pressured myriad government officials, from county elections staffers all the way up to his vice president, Mike Pence, to deny the certification of the results. And when political pressure failed, he summoned a mob to the Capitol and told them to "fight like hell."
"The central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, whom many others followed," the report's executive summary read. "None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him."
The committee announced Monday that it was asking the Department of Justice to charge Trump with four crimes: obstruction of an official proceeding; conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to make a false statement; and inciting, assisting, or aiding an insurrection.
The panel also voted to refer criminal charges against several of his allies, including former White House attorney John Eastman, Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and lawyers Jeffrey Clark and Kenneth Chesebro.
In its long-awaited report, the committee said it believed that "those who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution" and then engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6 can be disqualified and prohibited from holding government office. It also recommended that Congress consider "creating a formal mechanism" to evaluate whether to bar the individuals in the report from state and federal office.
The committee made 11 recommendations in total, including asking federal agencies to tackle the threat of white nationalist and violent anti-government extremist groups. The panel also recommended that lawyers involved in Trump's effort to overturn the election face disciplinary action and that penalties for threats against people involved in the election process be enhanced.
Like the criminal referrals, the committee's recommendations in its final report hold no legal weight. A Republican-majority House of Representatives will not be eager to take up any of the proposals the Democrat-led body put forward. But the findings carry symbolic significance and underscore the gravity of Trump's actions Jan. 6.
On his social media website, Trump railed against the report Thursday night, blaming outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and repeating the false claim of fraud in the 2020 election.
"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. "WITCH HUNT!"