Donald Trump
Donald TrumpREUTERS

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has sent criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, urging it to prosecute former President Donald Trump on four criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in attempts to stop the transition of power after the 2020 presidential election.

The recommendations from the committee are non-binding. They represent a symbolic move that more importantly is the first time a former president has been party to a criminal referral by Congress, CBS News reported.

During its final public hearing on Monday, the committee’s seven Democrats and two Republicans all voted to adopt the panel’s final report and to call on the Justice Department to prosecute Trump for obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement, and incitement, rebellion or insurrection.

Trump’s action may also be violations of two conspiracy statutes, hinging on evidence brought forward by the DOJ, the committee said in summarizing its report.

"We propose to the committee advancing referrals where the gravity of the specific offense, the severity of its actual harm, and the centrality of the offender to the overall design of the unlawful scheme to overthrow the election, compel us to speak," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said during the Monday hearing. "Ours is not a system of justice where foot soldiers go to jail and the masterminds and ringleaders get a free pass."

The committee’s recommendation that the DOJ charge Trump is non-binding, leaving federal prosecutors to decide whether the evidence is enough to pursue a case.

"Even if it were true that President Trump genuinely believed the election was stolen, this is no defense," the committee said in its executive summary. "No president can ignore the courts and purposely violate the law no matter what supposed 'justification' he or she presents."

Trump has long insisted that he did not break the law on Jan. 6, calling the committee’s investigation into his actions politically motivated and a “one-sided witch hunt."

The committee also voted unanimously to issue referrals to the DOJ to several of Trump’s inner circle, including lawyer John Eastman, who was allegedly behind a move to convince former-Vice President Mike Pence to discredit Electoral College votes.