(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) Attorney General Merrick Garland has opened an investigation into President Donald Trump’s activities in advance of the Jan. 6 protests at the Capitol, according to the Washington Post.
In apparent concert with the House J6 Select Committee, the Department of Justice has begun to issue subpoenas and conduct interviews with former White House officials who may have knowledge of Trump’s role in what the Post is calling the the “fake-elector effort” — allegedly led by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman — in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
While the Post was unable to get anyone on record regarding the true extent of Garland’s probe, its reporters did reveal that the investigation is seeking to discover “what Trump told his lawyers and senior officials to do” as it navigates the difference between respect for First Amendment rights and executive privilege, on the one hand, and “alleged conspiracy in support of a coup,” on the other.
Furthermore, the Post article suggested that Garland is no longer concerned with the political optics of prosecuting the former president.
“No former president has ever been charged with a crime in the country’s history,” the Post wrote. “One goal was to avoid appearing to use government power to punish political enemies and assure the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power.”
In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, AG Garland implied that he would seek to hold Trump accountable.
“We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan. 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable,” Garland said.
“AG Garland] now acknowledges a broader investigation into the plot to stop the peaceful transfer of power,” Schiff said. “Our committee has shown Donald Trump was at the center of that plot.”
AG Garland made a key distinction tonight.
His comments previously focused on those who attacked the Capitol.
He now acknowledges a broader investigation into the plot to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
Our committee has shown Donald Trump was at the center of that plot. pic.twitter.com/2Gmobogvs9
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 27, 2022