WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol said on Tuesday that the panel had decided to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.
"Yes," Representative Bennie Thompson told reporters when asked about the topic. He did not elaborate on who might be referred, when or on what charges.
A referral does not necessarily mean that the Justice Department, which is conducting its own investigation of the riot, will decide to file charges.
The Democratic-led House Select Committee has spent more than a year investigating the attack on the Capitol by thousands of supporters of Donald Trump, after the then-Republican president gave a fiery speech false claiming that his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden was the result of fraud.
Five people including a police officer died during or shortly after the riot and more than 140 police officers were injured. The Capitol suffered millions of dollars in damage and then-Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and staff ran for their lives amid the chaos.
A subcommittee of the panel has been studying whether to issue criminal referrals for Trump and some of his closest associates.
The panel is also expected to issue a report on its findings this month. It is expected to be dissolved before Republicans take control of the House in January after winning a majority of seats in the November midterm elections.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Deepa Babington)