The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into the actions of former President Donald Trump during the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The investigation is part of a “criminal probe into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election,” four unnamed sources told the Post.
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Post request for comment. A Justice Department spokesperson and an attorney for Meadows declined to comment, according to the Post report.
News of the investigation follows January 6 congressional hearing last week, which focused on Trump’s whereabouts and inaction after the assault on the US Capitol began. Thursday’s hearing also revealed eerie behind-the-scenes footage from that day during the recording of Trump’s address to the nation, including a refusal to concede the election results and several clips in which he struggled. for out-of-script words.
The Justice Department investigation marks a separate and distinct effort by the Jan. 6 special committee, which aims to highlight Trump’s responsibility for the attack and his failure to stop it — something the committee has attempted to do. show last week that he alone had the power to do.
A grand jury heard from witnesses, including two former high-level aides to Mike Pence, who testified to conversations with Trump, his attorneys and the former president’s inner circle, according to the Post, which cited two unnamed sources. The congressional investigation indicates that Trump’s innermost ring led an effort to place fake alternative voters in Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Those sessions included hours of detailed questioning from federal prosecutors, the Post reported. The questions covered topics ranging from the pressure he exerted on Pence to his direct involvement in efforts to place fake voters. The investigation also obtained phone records from former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and other senior Trump administration officials and aides, the Post reported.
Two people familiar with the matter told the Post that there are two potential leads that could arise from the investigation: one that focuses on “seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct a government process,” and the other which focuses on false voter fraud, a scheme or pressure on Trump to claim that the 2020 election was rigged.
Jeremy Bailey contributed to this report.