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- The U.S. House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol doesn’t have the authority to arrest former President Donald Trump.
The U.S. House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol postponed its upcoming public hearing because of Hurricane Ian, but a Facebook post claims that something big is about to break.
"Pelosi’s panel ready to arrest Trump after reviewing 100k+ Secret Service texts," the Sept. 25 post said. It included a nearly 26-minute video of a CNN broadcast that covered what the committee might reveal at its next hearing, as well as other news, such as developments in the war in Ukraine.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)
The video in the post doesn’t support the claim that the committee is "ready to arrest Trump." And the panel lacks the authority to pursue criminal charges, anyway, though it can make a criminal referral to the Justice Department recommending prosecutors there seek an indictment.
The Justice Department can take or ignore that recommendation. The New York Times noted earlier this year, however, that because the committee’s staff is led by "a bipartisan pair of former U.S. attorneys, any recommendations they make would most likely be taken seriously by federal prosecutors."
News outlets such as NBC News reported Sept. 27 that senior leadership at the Secret Service had confiscated the cellphones of two dozen agents who were involved in the agency’s Jan. 6 response. The phones were handed over to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, NBC said.
A few days prior, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice chair for the committee investigating Jan 6., said the committee had received some 800,000 pages of communication materials from the Secret Service but that most text messages from that date weren’t recovered, according to USA Today.
"The texts themselves, in many cases, are gone," Cheney said.
We rate claims that the panel is preparing to arrest Trump after reviewing more than 100,000 Secret Service text messages False.
Facebook post, Sept. 25, 2022
USA Today, Rep. Liz Cheney: Jan. 6 committee got around 800,000 pages from Secret Service, Sept. 25, 2022
NPR, Jan. 6 panel postpones its latest hearing because of Hurricane Ian, Sept. 27, 2022
The New York Times, The Jan. 6 committee’s consideration of a criminal referral, explained, Jan. 3, 2022
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