Cheney says Jan. 6 committee could make multiple criminal referrals, including from Trump

“We’ll make a decision as a committee on that,” the Wyoming Republican told ABC News when asked about the possibility of firing Trump for prosecution and saying “yes” when asked. whether a Trump dismissal was possible.

“The Justice Department doesn’t have to wait for the committee to make a criminal referral, and there could be more than one criminal referral,” Cheney said.

Cheney’s remarks come days after explosive testimony before the panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who recalls being briefed on Trump’s anger when ‘He was informed by his Secret Service details that he could not accompany protesters to the Capitol on January 6.

Meanwhile, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the other Republican on the Jan. 6 committee besides Cheney, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that Cassidy’s testimony had “been inspirational to many people” and that other witnesses have come forward since his explosion. revelations last week, adding “there will be a lot more information – and stay tuned”, without giving further details.

Kinzinger said on “State of the Union” that he would not “go into who or any of these details” about potential new witnesses, but noted that “every day we get new people who present” to the committee.

In his testimony, Hutchinson said former White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato told him that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the car and lunged at Secret Service agent Bobby. Engel on January 6 when told they were returning to the West Wing and not the Capitol.

Since then, Hutchinson’s sworn testimony has been questioned by some Trump allies, not to speak under oath.

But two Secret Service sources told CNN stories have been circulating about the incident — including details similar to how Hutchinson described it to the Jan. 6 committee. The Secret Service said officers involved in the described incident, some of whom have already been interviewed by the panel, will be made available to testify again under oath.

When asked by Bash if Ornato would testify before the committee, Kinzinger replied that “there is information that I can’t say yet”, adding, “But we would certainly say that Cassidy Hutchinson testified under oath. We find her credible and whoever wants to vilify it, who was present firsthand, should come and also testify under oath.”

“What she said is what she heard. At no time did she say she was in the Beast with the President and saw this happen,” KInzinger added, noting that no one has come forward to challenge the fact that Trump wants to leave. at the Capitol on January 6.

Criminal referrals

The Jan. 6 committee was split on the issue of criminal removals, even though members largely agreed that Trump committed a crime when he pushed conspiracies about the 2020 election. Cheney told ABC News that the panel was likely to take a stand on whether Trump should be prosecuted.

“We may well, as a committee, have an opinion on this,” she said. “If you just think about it from the perspective of: what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is threatened?”

“It’s very scary, and I think we will definitely continue to present to the American people what we found,” she continued.

Cheney also said the committee had evidence supporting Trump’s fury at being told he couldn’t go to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“The committee has significant evidence on a range of issues, including the president’s intense anger,” she said. “You will continue to see in the days and weeks to come additional details about the President’s activities and behavior that day.”

Cheney, who faced significant backlash from fellow Republicans for his whistleblowing of Trump and his role leading the investigation into the Jan. 6 riot, insisted the proceedings were not aimed at not to politically disqualify Trump from running for president again.

Instead, she said they were meant to ensure that the American people had an account of what happened that day, although she acknowledged that there was “not a single thing” she learned that made her less concerned about Trump returning to the White House.

“A man as dangerous as Donald Trump can absolutely never be anywhere near the Oval Office again,” she said.

CNN previously reported that Trump was anxiously considering when, exactly, he should announce a presidential election in 2024 – a decision that has become even more pressing as he tries to regain control of his image following the series of damaging revelations. of the January 6 committee. .

Cheney, who faces a rocky climb in his re-election bid in Wyoming, said the Republican Party won’t survive if Trump is selected as the GOP presidential nominee in 2024.

Although she declined to rule out her own candidacy for the presidency, she said her focus currently lay elsewhere.

“I haven’t made a decision on that yet, and I’m obviously very focused on getting re-elected, I’m very focused on the January 6 committee, I’m very focused on my obligations to do the job that I have now,” she said. “And I’ll make a decision about 24 down the road.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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