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Schiff says Jan. 6 committee's probe "far out ahead" of Justice Department

Schiff: Jan. 6 panel "far out ahead" of DOJ
Schiff says Jan. 6 committee's probe "far out ahead" of Justice Department 07:57

Washington —  Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, said Sunday that the panel has been "far out ahead" of the Department of Justice throughout its examination of the events surrounding the violent attack.

"We have been far out ahead in most respects of the Justice Department and conducting our investigation. I think they have made use of the evidence that we have presented in open hearings. I think they'll make use of the evidence that we prefer to present in our report to further their investigations," Schiff said in an interview with "Face the Nation." "And I think it makes an important statement, not a political one, but a statement about the evidence of an attack on the institutions of our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power, that Congress examining an attack on itself is willing to report criminality."

The select committee will be wrapping up its investigation into the Jan. 6 attack and former President Donald Trump's efforts to stop the transfer of power after interviews with more than 1,000 people and 10 public hearings. The panel is expected to reveal the findings of the examination in a final report, which Schiff said will be made public around Dec. 21. Members were also set to meet Sunday afternoon to discuss whether to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

Schiff said the committee's report will include a decision on whom to refer to the Justice Department for prosecution, and he and his fellow panel members are looking at a number of factors about possible criminal referrals.

"What I can tell you about the process is we're looking at what is the quantum of evidence that we have against individuals? What is the impact of making a referral? Are we going to create some suggestion by referring some, that others there wasn't sufficient evidence, when we don't know, for example, what evidence is in the position of the Justice Department?" he said. "So, if we do make referrals, we want to be very careful about how we do them. But I think we're all certainly in agreement that there is evidence of criminality here and we want to make sure that the Justice Department is aware of that."

The select committee said in a statement that referrals to outside entities should be considered as  a final part of its work, and Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman, confirmed last week that the committee is also examining whether any of the people who appeared before the panel perjured themselves. 

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