Those calling for the Justice Department to be more aggressive in their investigation into the events of January 6th may finally be getting their wish. The DOJ is adding resources and prosecutors to the probe – including office space and personnel, per The Wall Street Journal.
When the Jan. 6 Select Committee began its televised hearings, the pressure was on. Testimony from former White House staffers, former members of Trump’s inner circle, and those receiving pressure from the ex-President and his camp to illegally overturn the election results painted a clear and undeniable picture of the attempted coup and its conspirators which began long before the day of the insurrection.
Former federal prosecutor Robert Mintz was quoted as saying:
“The ramping up of resources is usually an indication that prosecutors are casting a broader net. The House Committee hearings have undoubtedly ratcheted up the pressure on federal prosecutors to broaden their own investigation to include the testimony that has emerged.”
Though over 850 people have been charged for their roles in the Capitol attack, many have criticized Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department for their seeming lack of urgency to hold those in Congress – and the White House — who actively participated accountable.
People like freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and House GOP representatives Andy Biggs (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Paul Gosar (AZ), Louie Gohmert (TX), and Scott Perry (PA) — all of whom not only attended a December 21, 2020 Oval Office meeting to strategize pressuring then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the electoral votes – but each sought Presidential pardons.
All of this was confirmed by the public hearing testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, former senior aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Just recently in an interview with Ari Melber on MSNBC’s The Beat, House Select Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) expressed frustration with the pace Attorney General Garland and the Justice Department have moved in issuing indictments.
where or where is Merrick Garland? https://t.co/d67kbe5XwK
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) July 14, 2022
A similar sentiment was expressed by a former prosecutor in the Mueller probe, Andrew Weissman. Penning an op-ed in The New York Times, Weissman criticized Garland’s investigation of Jan. 6 as an “isolated” event, rather than part of a much bigger conspiracy.
“But that is actually the wrong approach for investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. That approach sees the attack on the Capitol as a single event — an isolated riot, separate from other efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election. The evidence gathered in the hearings describes a multiprong conspiracy — what prosecutors term a hub and spoke conspiracy — in which the Ellipse speech by President Trump and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol were just one “spoke” of a grander scheme.”
While the DOJ maintains it isn’t taking cues from Congress, the parallel between the testimony of the Select Committee hearing witnesses and the Justice Dept. subpoenas seems more than a coincidence. Whatever the case, thankfully the nation’s highest prosecutorial department is finally showing some teeth, and taking the attempted coup as seriously as the rest of America.
Original reporting by Sadie Gurman, Aruna Viswanatha, and Alexa Corse at The Wall Street Journal.
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