U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.
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- Liz Cheney said the Jan. 6 panel could make multiple criminal referrals, including one against Trump.
- During a Sunday interview on ABC News, Cheney said Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 were “chilling.”
- The Wyoming lawmaker also said she was “absolutely confident” in Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony.
Rep. Liz Cheney in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump’s conduct warrants prosecution.
“Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that,” the Wyoming Republican said. “I think we may well as a committee have a view on that.”
She continued: “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 under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It’s just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we’ve found.”
When asked pointedly if it’s possible the committee will make a criminal referral, Cheney nodded and responded, “Yes.”
She also emphasized that the Department of Justice didn’t need to defer to the committee in considering its own criminal referral.
“There could be more than one criminal referral,” Cheney said.
A criminal referral made by the panel would have no concrete legal effect but would allow Congress to notify the Justice Department of the possibility of criminal conduct.
In April, The New York Times reported that the panel was divided on sending a criminal referral of Trump to the Justice Department, but Cheney at the time refuted the claim of any dispute among its members.
Cheney’s interview comes less than a week after bombshell testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson during one the committee’s hearings, where she detailed previously unknown details of Trump’s behavior on the day of the riot.
The conservative lawmaker said that she had full confidence in Hutchinson’s statements before the committee.
“I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I’m confident in her testimony,” she said.
“I think that what Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure,” she added.
Cheney told Karl that pursuing potential charges against Trump would be “difficult” for the country, especially as continues to mull over a timeline for launching a potential 2024 presidential campaign against President Joe Biden.
But she warns of the “constitutional threat” of not holding officials accountable.
“I have greater concern about what it would mean if people weren’t held accountable for what’s happened here,” she said. “I think it’s a much graver constitutional threat if a president can engage in these kinds of activities and the majority of the president’s party looks away, or we as a country decide, ‘You know, we’re not actually going to take out constitutional obligation seriously.’ I think that’s a much more serious threat.”
“I really believe we have to make these decisions, as difficult as it is, apart from politics. We really have to think about these from the perspective of: What does it mean for the country?” she added.