As the investigation into the attempt to prevent Joe Biden from assuming office following his election victory continues, the Justice Department has no qualms about the political blowback that would inevitably occur as a result of the agency criminally indicting Donald Trump, Attorney General Merrick Garland says.
In a new interview with NBC News, slated to run on Tuesday night, the head of the DOJ discussed the probe. The news organization only broadcast a snippet of the interview before airing the whole thing.
Mr. Garland stated that prosecutors would not take into account the possibility of widespread social upheaval if they indicted Donald Trump for trying to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president and instigating the attack on January 6.
“We seek justice without fear or favor,” the attorney general told NBC’s, Lester Holt. To paraphrase, “We plan to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally liable for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable. What we do is that.”
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In his comments, the attorney general did not deviate much from the few he has made before about the Justice Department’s response to the January 6 events.
The significance of Mr. Garland’s claim that the investigation is focused on the “effort to interfere with the lawful transition of power” is that it suggests the DOJ’s investigation may cover more than just the armed mob’s breach of the Capitol.
That leaves the DOJ wide open to target either Mr. Trump’s personal attempts to persuade his followers to congregate in Washington, DC on January 6 or, the efforts of Donald Trump and his staff to convince state legislatures and other officials to endorse fraudulent slates of electors.
Aside from announcing charges for individual participants of the riot, the Justice Department under Mr. Garland has given little indication as to whether any members of Donald Trump’s campaign, administration, or inner circle will be held accountable for the attack on Congress that began moments after the president himself urged his supporters to descend on Cap Hill in January.
Mr. Garland’s limited public comments, the criticism of Democratic members of Congress, and the occasional news item have provided the bulk of the information we have about the breadth of the grand jury inquiry thus far. Yesterday, it was revealed that former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, had testified before a grand jury in Washington.
An independent inquiry is being conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into whether or not Mr. Trump and his campaign attempted to rig the state’s election in order to overturn his loss to Joe Biden. The Republican governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, gave his testimony to the grand jury via video conference on Monday.