I watched Lester Holt’s interview with Attorney General Merrick Garland last night. A big part of the interview had to do with January 6th.
As you would expect, the attorney general didn’t say a ton. (Lester tried really hard, by the way.) Garland did say that the Justice Department’s January 6 probe is “ the most wide ranging investigation in its history.”
Just after that interview, the alert came across my phone from the Washington Post. It said that the Justice Department was indeed investigating President Trump’s actions as part of a criminal probe to overturn the 2020 election results. The Post cites four people familiar with the matter.
Assuming all this is true, this is big. While we have watched the Congressional January 6 Committee hearings with great interest, this is a totally separate investigation. This is the United States Justice Department.
Here’s the biggest difference in the two probes. The Justice Department can actually pursue criminal charges.
While Attorney General Garland didn’t say much about the specifics of prosecuting President Trump, he did say that no one is above the law: “We pursue justice without fear or favor.”
You can’t talk about this without talking about where former President Trump was yesterday. Back in Washington. His first time back since leaving office.
There were protesters outside the hotel where he was speaking. Inside, President Trump was telling the crowd that he might run again: “We may just have to do it again. We may just have to save our country.”
It’s looking more and more as though if Donald Trump runs again he will have to find another Vice President. That’s because former Vice President Mike Pence looks to be masking a run for President himself.
He spoke in Washington too. This comes as two of Pence’s top aides had testified before a federal grand jury as part of the Justice Department’s investigation of the January 6th insurrection.
There’s a lot to think about here. Could a former president actually be prosecuted by the Justice Department? If so, might it happen as Donald Trump makes another run for president?
Would that help or hurt? While recent polls indicate “Trump fatigue,” it is Donald Trump. As Fox News Howard Kurtz said, “Negative coverage of Donald Trump has always helped him because it had riled up his base.”
The question remains… just how big is Donald Trump’s base? I think we will find out.