Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney Reuters

Four members of the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot pushed on Sunday for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to criminally investigate former US President Donald Trump, The Hill reports.

The lawmakers argued the committee has gathered enough evidence of the former president’s actions — and inaction — leading up to the Capitol attack to merit investigation.

Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Sunday that “there’s no question that we have seen very serious misconduct and certainly supreme dereliction of duty” from the former president.

“I think that Donald Trump — the violation of his oath of office, the violation of the Constitution that he engaged in — is the most serious misconduct of any president in the history of our nation,” Cheney was quoted as having said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She detailed evidence brought forth during the hearings of Trump’s attempts to pressure and sway the Department of Justice, former Vice President Mike Pence and state and local officials “to violate the law and the Constitution” in a bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The former president encouraged the Jan. 6 rioters, Cheney charged, and refused to call them off when things turned violent, “despite the fact that people, everyone, really, was pleading with him” to step in and speak up.

The 187 minutes between when Trump delivered a speech telling supporters to march to the Capitol and when he finally told them to leave the building was the focus of the committee’s prime-time hearing this past Thursday.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the president of the United States is unfit for further office,” Cheney said. “Any man who would conduct themselves — or woman — who would conduct themselves the way that he did in attempting to overturn an election and stay in power must never again be anywhere close to the Oval Office.”

Cheney’s only fellow Republican on the panel, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL), was quoted as having told ABC’s “This Week” that he’s noticed “a significant amount of more movement” from within the DOJ as the panel churns out new evidence.

Kinzinger said he understands the hesitation to prosecute a prior administration, saying that’s “what you see in failed democracies.”

“But there is a massive difference between ‘I’m going to prosecute the last administration for political vengeance’ and not prosecuting an administration that literally attempted a failed coup,” Kinzinger said.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) argued that the DOJ has “plenty” of evidence for a criminal investigation.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Luria called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to act. “If he’s watching today, I’d tell him he doesn’t need to wait on us because I think he has plenty to keep moving forward.”

The January 6 House committee was created with some controversy. The US House of Representatives passed a bill last May to form a commission to probe the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. The bill was approved in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

Two days later, however, Senate Republicans blocked the legislation. Senators voted 54-35 on the House-passed bill, falling short of the 10 GOP votes needed to get it over an initial hurdle.

Without any pathway forward in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would use her power to pursue a select committee in the House that will be controlled by Democrats, leading to the formation of the current panel.

Trump denies wrongdoing and has rejected the legitimacy of the committee.