“I think the president has violated multiple criminal laws,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a member of the committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “And I think you have to be treated like any other American who breaks the law, and that is, you have to be prosecuted.”
Mr. Schiff detailed why he thought a charge of insurrection was appropriate.
“In terms of the criminal statute, if you can prove that someone incited an insurrection — that is, they incited violence against the government, or they gave aid and comfort to those who did — that violates that law,” Mr. Schiff said. “And if you look at Donald Trump’s acts, and you match them up against the statute, it’s a pretty good match. I realize that statute hasn’t been used in a long time. But, then, when have we had a president essentially incite an attack on his own government?”
The House created the Jan. 6 committee after Senate Republicans used a filibuster to defeat a proposal to create an independent commission to investigate the attack, during which more than 150 police officers were injured as pro-Trump rioters interrupted the peaceful transfer of power from Mr. Trump to Mr. Biden.
The committee — made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans — consistently broke new ground for a congressional investigation. Staffed with more than a dozen former federal prosecutors, the panel set a new production standard for how to hold a congressional hearing. It also got significantly ahead of a parallel Justice Department investigation into the events of Jan. 6, with federal prosecutors later interviewing many of the same witnesses Congress had already spoken with.
Lawmakers on the panel also believe they played a significant role in elevating the issue of threats to democracy in the minds of voters, who rejected many election deniers in the November midterms.
On Monday, the panel will take another unprecedented step for a legislative body: voting on criminal referrals against a former president. Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, has said the panel is considering referrals to “five or six” entities, including the Justice Department, the House Ethics Committee, the Federal Election Commission and bar associations.
Among those under scrutiny from the panel are five congressional Republicans who refused to comply with the committee’s subpoenas.