At its final public meeting on Monday, the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol unanimously voted to approve criminal referrals against former President Donald Trump and others to the Department of Justice.

The panel voted unanimously to adopt its final report – which also includes legislative recommendations, key findings and transcripts of interviews – and approve four criminal referrals against Trump:

  • Obstruction of an official proceeding;
  • Conspiracy to defraud the United States;
  • Conspiracy to make a false statement, and;
  • Inciting, assisting or aiding and comforting an insurrection

"I have no doubt that once the investigation proceeds and is concluded, if the evidence is as we presented it, I'm convinced the Justice Department will charge former President Trump," Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told CNN after the meeting.

While the Justice Department does not have to act on the panel's recommendations, Monday's actions mark the first time in U.S. history that Congress has recommended criminal charges against a former president. Lawmakers on the panel acknowledged the weight of their actions.

“We understand the gravity of each and every referral we are making today, just as we understand the magnitude of the crime against democracy that we describe in our report,” said Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the panel. “But we have gone where the facts in the law lead us — and inescapably, they lead us here.”

Members of the panel also referred a number of former President Trump's associates to the DOJ for criminal charges, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, conservative attorney John Eastman and others.

The panel also referred four House Republicans to the House Ethics Commitee for failing to comply with their subpoenas: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona.

Rep. Adam Schiff, one of the members of the Jan. 6 panel, told Spectrum News in an interview after the hearing that McCarthy’s refusal to testify should disqualify him from being House Speaker when Republicans retake the chamber in January.

"Someone who has that kind of willful disregard for the best interest of the country and our institutions, someone who himself supported voting to overturn the election, someone like that should never be given a responsibility of governing," Schiff said.

Here are takeaways from the Jan. 6 panel's final public meeting:

'A roadmap to justice'

Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., left. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

After more than 1,000 interviews and obtaining more than a million documents, the House Jan. 6 panel will cease to exist once Republicans retake control of the House on Jan. 3, 2023.

Chairman Thompson, who led the panel through several closely watched hearings, made the case that the evidence gathered by the panel will "help ensure accountability under the law," which he noted "can only be found in the criminal justice system."

"We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice and that the agencies and institutions responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use the information we provide to aid in their work," Thompson said in his opening remarks.

The panel's vice chair, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, made the case that Trump is the only former occupant of the White House who failed to accept a peaceful transfer of power.

"Every president in our history has defended this orderly transfer of authority: Except one," she said. "Jan. 6, 2021. was the first time one American president refused his constitutional duty to transfer power peacefully to the next. 

Even more, Cheney said, one of the most serious things the committee found was that President Trump did little as a violent mob attacked the capitol on Jan. 6, harming law enforcement officers and putting lawmakers and staff lives in danger.

“In addition to being unlawful as described in our report, this was an utter moral failure and a clear dereliction of duty,” Cheney said.

“No man who would behave that way at that moment in time can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation. Again, he is unfit for any office,” she added. “The committee recognizes that our work has only begun. It's only the initial step in addressing President Trump's effort to remain in office illegally.”

The panel's goal, Cheney said, was to ensure that such an incident never happens again.

‘A strategy to prevent the committee from finding the truth’

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., made the case at Monday's meeting that former President Trump and his associates may have attempted to exert undue influence over witnesses testifying in front of the committee. 

“The committee found that Mr. Trump raised hundreds of millions of dollars with false representations made to his online donors,” Lofrgren said in part, referring to the former president’s repeated claims that the 2020 elections had been stolen from him. “The proceeds from his fundraising, we have learned, have been used in ways that we believe are concerning.” 

Lawmakers on the panel alleged some of those funds were used to obtain lawyers or to “provide or offer employment to witnesses,” though in many cases it was not clear where exactly those funds were coming from. 

“For example, one lawyer told the witness [that] the witness could, in certain circumstances, tell the committee that she didn't recall facts when she actually did recall them,” Lofgren said, noting: “That lawyer also did not disclose who was paying for the lawyer's representation.

“We've learned that a client was offered potential employment that would make her ‘financially very comfortable’ as the date of her testimony approached by entities that were apparently linked to Donald Trump and his associates,” Lofgren continued. “The witness believed this was an effort to affect her testimony, and we are concerned that these efforts may have been a strategy to prevent the committee from finding the truth.”

Lofgren declined to say which witness was offered the alleged employment or finances from associates linked to the former president. 

Those allegations support the committee’s criminal referral for witness tampering against the former president and other members of the Trump team, a crime defined as one who “...corruptly…obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so.” The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. 

Still, it will be the Justice Department that will have to decide how to move forward, if at all, on the committee’s criminal recommendations. 

'Pressure campaign'

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks to members of the media after the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol held its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Lawmakers on the panel detailed pressure campaigns from former President Trump and his allies against state and local officials, the Department of Justice and even Vice President Mike Pence in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., recapped how former president Donald Trump tried to pressure state election officials to try to overturn his loss in states that Joe Biden won – from his call to Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger telling him to “find” thousands of votes to a broader scheme to create fake electoral ballots in his favor.

“In repeated telephone calls and in-person meetings, Donald Trump pressured state elections officials and state legislators to alter official election results,” Schiff said. “But courageous public servants including Republicans like Rusty Bowers held firm and refused to put Donald Trump over their oath to the Constitution.”

“When Donald Trump's pressure campaign did not achieve the results he wanted, he oversaw an effort to obtain and transmit false Electoral College ballots to Congress and the National Archives,” Schiff added.

Those false ballots were signed off on by Trump allies in a handful of states, but ultimately former vice president Mike Pence rejected that plan and certified the actual ballots. Several investigations are looking into the fake electors plan.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans on the Jan. 6 panel, spent his portion of Thursday’s Jan. 6 panel meeting detailing former President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign against the Justice Department.

Kinzinger called the DOJ “one of the many important components of our federal government” and spoke of the importance of the agency’s operation as a “fair and neutral body” to enforce the country’s laws.

“It is this critical function that President Trump sought to corrupt,” the Illinois Republican said. “He sought to use the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute purported election fraud, and to help him convince the public that the election was stolen.”

Kinzinger highlighted then-Attorney General William Barr’s role in investigating claims of election fraud and debunking bogus claims that Trump went on to publicly espouse.

“He made clear that President Trump was doing quote, ‘a great, great disservice to the country by pursuing them,’” Kinzinger said.

Following Barr’s resignation, Kinzinger quoted Trump’s urging to acting DOJ leadership to “‘just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressman.”

“In other words, just tell a small lie to put the facade of legitimacy on this line,” Kinzinger said of Trump’s intent. “And the Republican congressman and I can distort and destroy and create doubt all ourselves.”

Kinzinger went on to detail Trump’s desire to install loyalist Jeff Clark to lead the department instead.

“On several occasions Clark met with the president — apparently along with Rep. Scott Perry, without authorization — promising to take the actions that Barr, [acting AG Jeff] Rosen and [acting deputy AG Richard] Donoghue had refused to take,” Kinzinger said. “In particular, Mr. Clark intended to send a letter that he had drafted with the help of a political appointee that the White House installed at DOJ with just weeks left in the administration.”

Clark, Kinzinger detailed, would have sent that letter “to officials in numerous states, informing them — falsely of course — that the department had identified significant concerns about the election results in their state and encouraging their state legislators to come into special session to consider appointing Trump rather than Biden electors.”

Those efforts culminated in a Jan. 3, 2021, White House meeting described as “dramatic,” in which Rosen, Donoghue, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, urged them not to send the letter, calling it a “murder-suicide pact.”

“Numerous White House and Department of Justice lawyers all threatened to resign if Mr. Clark was appointed,” Kinzinger said. “It was only after the threat of mass resignations that President Trump rescinded his offer to Mr. Clark."

'President Trump lit the flame'

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., made the case Monday that former President Trump’s efforts to stoke anger among supporters planning to rally at the Capitol on Jan. 6, as well as his unwillingness to temper their rage, were responsible for the events of that fateful day.

Two years ago Monday, Trump tweeted to his supporters, telling them to come to Washington on Jan. 6, saying that it “will be wild.”

Members of the panel made the case that Trump's tweet, and his repeated subsequent encouragement, stirred far-right supporters, including members of the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and other militia groups.

As the groups prepared to come to Washington for Trump’s rally, federal and local law enforcement began to pick up tips and warnings suggesting the risk of violence at the U.S. Capitol that day.

Law enforcement found warnings that supporters may storm the Capitol, that they planned to kill people, that Vice President Mike Pence would be a “dead man walking” should he not “do the right thing.”

In text messages, former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks said that she repeatedly suggested Trump should tweet messages suggesting nonviolence at the rally — and that she was dismissed.

At the Jan. 6 rally, Trump repeatedly told his supporters — without evidence — that the 2020 election had been stolen, and told his supporters to “fight like hell.” He told them that he was going to go to the Capitol with them, to influence Congress’s joint session.

Then, they marched.

Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Trump for hours stalled in telling rioters to go home or calling law enforcement for backup during the Jan. 6 attack, instead calling his personal lawyer and lawmakers to delay the election certification further, Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria said Monday.

Luria, calling this 187-minute delay a “dereliction of duty,” and said that officials from both parties, Trump’s family members and even Fox News commentators were urging the president to tell the rioters to stop. 

When he made a video statement three hours later, he again claimed the election was stolen, Luria outlined, but he also told the crowd at the capitol to disperse, which they did. 

Later, many would testify that the video was the reason they left, demonstrating the power of the president’s word, Luria said.

Before that, however, the president also called his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as the violent attack went on, Luria said.

And the two men called lawmakers even after the attack had begun, asking them to delay the election certification at the capitol further.

“In summary, President Trump lit the flame. He poured gasoline on the fire and sat by in the White House dining room for hours watching the fire burn. And today, he still continues to fan those flames,” Luria said.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.