The House Jan. 6th committee released its final report this week
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
House Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol has issued its full report. It's long, more than 800 pages. It includes a list of recommendations on what committee members think should happen next. And those include barring former President Trump from running for office again. NPR political reporter Deepa Shivaram has gone into the report and joins us. Good morning, Deepa.
DEEPA SHIVARAM, BYLINE: Hey, good morning.
SIMON: So much of this report centers around the actions of former President Trump that led up to the insurrection. What are the consequences, though?
SHIVARAM: Yeah, so basically, in this 800-page report, like you said, the committee goes into detail on what happened leading up to the January 6 insurrection and what they think should happen next. So the biggest thing are these criminal referrals, which we learned about earlier this week. The committee referred Trump to the Department of Justice for four criminal charges.
And in the full report, which came out late Thursday night, they cite part of the 14th Amendment. And this part says that anyone who took an oath to uphold the Constitution but engaged in an insurrection can be barred from holding federal or state office. So they recommend that Trump shouldn't be able to run for office ever again. And they also recommend creating a way to evaluate whether other people who took part in the insurrection should be barred from holding future government office on federal levels or other levels.
SIMON: And what have we heard from the former president?
SHIVARAM: We heard from the former president on his social media platform called Truth Social about the report. He's once again repeating his lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. And he called the committee highly partisan and said their investigation was a witch hunt.
SIMON: Deepa, tell us about some of the other recommendations the committee laid out.
SHIVARAM: Yeah, there are quite a few here that are aimed at protecting democracy. One of the recommendations is that Congress should make stronger criminal penalties for people who obstruct the peaceful transfer of power. And there's a recommendation on adjusting the Electoral Count Act, for example. So it's more specific in saying that the vice president's role in certifying an election is completely ceremonial. The committee also recommended more oversight over the Capitol Police as they improve their planning and training processes.
And, Scott, a lot of the report is focused on Trump's actions to overturn the 2020 election, but there were so many everyday people whose lives were impacted by this including election workers. And one of the committee's recommendations is for more federal penalties for those who threaten election workers. The committee's investigation found that many of the people who refused Trump's requests to change the election results or were caught in the middle of it were subject to harassment, intimidation and violent threats. So one of the committee's recommendations is to help protect those workers, too.
SIMON: A new Congress is going to be sworn in within days. Republicans will have control of the lower chamber. Do we expect anything to happen to these recommendations?
SHIVARAM: At this point, it's unclear what's going to happen with some of these recommendations. But some of them, like reforming the Electoral Count Act, has already happened. It got included in the end-of-year budget bill. But like you said, the thing to keep in mind is that Republicans are set to take control of the House very soon, in early January. So we have a divided Congress, which likely means a divided approach on how to handle some of these recommendations.
There were four House members, including Representative Kevin McCarthy, who were subpoenaed by the committee but didn't comply. And the committee recommended that they face repercussions for that. But with the GOP-led House, that's probably not likely going to happen. And when it comes to some of those criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, like I mentioned before, that's just something that we're going to have to wait on. Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned a special counsel for the investigations into Trump. His name is Jack Smith, and we'll be watching to see what he does next.
SIMON: NPR political reporter Deepa Shivaram, thanks so much.
SHIVARAM: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.