The congressional committee investigating the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, held its final meeting Monday where it issued several criminal referrals, including four for former President Donald Trump.
Though it carries no legal weight, the select committee voted to recommend charging Trump with obstructing an official proceeding, conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to make false statements to the federal government and inciting an insurrection, the Daily Wire reported.
Four House GOP members — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, and Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona — were also referred to the House Ethics Committee for allegedly ignoring subpoenas issued by the committee.
Outgoing U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) was also sent a subpoena, and, like the others, he did not appear in front of the committee. Brooks told 1819 News he was surprised he didn't get a referral as well, but he thinks he avoided it since he agreed to meet with the committee on one condition.
"Twice I agreed to testify provided that it was public. I put it in writing," Brooks said. "It's not a matter of accommodation. It's a matter of whether they have a right to clandestinely do the public's business in a star chamber secret environment. They have a right to get my testimony; they do not have a right to do it in secret when it's the public's business."
Brooks said there was still the legal issue of whether the "witch-hunt committee" has any authority to subpoena a sitting congressman at all. A litigator himself for 32 years, he said he knows how the subpoena process is and isn't supposed to work.
"No one has the right to just willy-nilly subpoena anybody for anything," he said. "... I'm very familiar with subpoenas and what you can and cannot do with them. And so I was well within my rights to do what I did."
He added that he was willing to waive some of his rights as long as his testimony was public.
"That scared the willies out of them. They wanted a one-sided presentation because they wanted a partisan message," Brooks said.
When asked about the charges recommended for Trump, Brooks indicated that, whether the charges stick or not, the former president may have brought it on himself.
"That does not surprise me. Donald Trump has a proven history of portraying himself as being above the law, and he's not," Brooks said. "I do not have a judgment whether he is guilty or not guilty of these particular items. That is something for the judicial system to resolve, and hopefully, if there is an indictment, the judge and jury will render a proper verdict."
Brooks said he had first-hand experience with Trump's "disregard for the law" during the 2022 campaign season when Brooks was asked to promote what he saw as unconstitutional messages about overturning the 2020 election.
"He wanted me to make public statements that I knew to be in violation of the Constitution and the law, and I refused to do it," Brooks said.
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