Thompson first says January 6th Committee will make criminal referrals but then walks it back

The Mississippi 2nd District Congressman Chairs Speaker Pelosi’s select House committee on the matter.

Mississippi’s 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning that the U.S. House committee appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to investigate the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot would be making criminal referrals as their work winds down and this Congress comes to a close.  Thompson chairs the House committee.

CBS News first reported Thompson’s comments.

“Yes,” Thompson told reporters when questioned on the criminal referrals, later adding, “We have made decisions on criminal referrals.”

Congressman Thompson did not reveal the list of names the House committee was considering for such criminal referrals, including whether or not it would include former President Donald Trump, but Thompson did note that those would be separate from the committee’s final report that is to be sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

However, just hours later, Thompson and the committee’s spokesperson walked those fairly definitive statements back, instead categorizing the situation as the committee having reached a “general agreement” to forward some criminal referrals to the DOJ.

“We’re not there yet,” Thompson said, as reported by The Hill, adding that the earlier “gaggle [with reporters] was wrong.”

“The Committee has determined that referrals to outside entities should be considered as a final part of its work. The committee will make decisions about specifics in the days ahead,” a committee spokesperson said in a statement.

The House committee is expected to meet Tuesday afternoon. Thompson told reporters that he believes the criminal referrals will be part of their deliberations.

The Pelosi appointed January 6th Committee has been rushing to finalize their work ahead of the end of the year as Republicans will be in the majority in the House when the next Congress is seated in January 2023, effectively ending the special committee enacted by the outgoing Democrat Speaker of the House.

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