To the surprise of few, it would appear that Attorney General Merrick Garland has caved to the pressure from the left to potentially indict Donald Trump — or at least initiate a good feign in that direction.
Citing the standard “people familiar with the matter,” The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the Biden Department of Justice “is investigating President Donald Trump’s actions as part of its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.”
More from The Post:
Prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before a grand jury — including two top aides to Vice President Mike Pence — have asked in recent days about conversations with Trump, his lawyers, and others in his inner circle who sought to substitute Trump allies for certified electors from some states Joe Biden won, according to two people familiar with the matter. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The prosecutors have asked hours of detailed questions about meetings Trump led in December 2020 and January 2021; his pressure campaign on Pence to overturn the election; and what instructions Trump gave his lawyers and advisers about fake electors and sending electors back to the states, the people said. Some of the questions focused directly on the extent of Trump’s involvement in the fake-elector effort led by his outside lawyers, including John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, these people said.
The newspaper cited anonymous sources to say DOJ investigators received phone records of key officials and aides in the Trump administration back in April, including his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
“That effort is another indicator of how expansive the Jan. 6 probe had become, well before the high-profile, televised House hearings in June and July on the subject,” the Post noted, in an apparent endorsement of the recent Soviet-style prime time show trial.
In an exclusive interview Tuesday with NBC Nightly News, Garland told anchor Lester Holt that the DOJ plans to prosecute anyone who was “criminally responsible for interfering with the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another.”
The interview serving as a marker that the target “appears to have moved far beyond the rioters who attacked the Capitol,” as characterized by NBC News, with Garland brushing aside the potential harm to the nation resulting from the DOJ’s unprecedented political targeting of a former president who is likely to be a presidential candidate once again:
EXCLUSIVE: @LesterHoltNBC presses AG Merrick Garland on the Jan 6 investigation
Garland pledges to hold accountable anyone “criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another” pic.twitter.com/1J041nB5eH
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) July 26, 2022
In a clear sign he relented to Democratic lawmakers leaning on him to take action, Garland said DOJ investigators learned things from the televised Jan. 6 hearings that stuffed due process in a congressional closet somewhere, claiming the selective testimony featured highlighted “the truth of what happened…and what a risk it meant for our democracy.”
“Look, the Justice Department has been doing the most wide-ranging investigation in its history,” he said. “And the committee is doing an enormously wide-ranging investigation as well. It is inevitable that there will be things that they find before we have found them. And it’s inevitable that there will be things we find that they haven’t found. That’s what happens when you have two wide-ranging investigations going on at the same time.”
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