One of the key questions that many people ask is undoubtedly whether or not donald trump will never be held responsible for his attempt to burn down democracy, because he is a puny man-child unable to admit that he lost the election. And the answer is that even if the House subcommittee investigating the events surrounding January 6, 2021 discovers extremely damning evidence against him – you know, in addition to the evidence we already have – he has no power to pursuit. But the Justice Department is doing it, and it seems his the criminal investigation into the attempted coup heats up.
The New York Times reports that the DOJ asked the House panel to turn over “transcripts of interviews it conducts behind closed doors, including some with associates of former President Donald J. Trump,” according to people familiar with the matter. To date, the committee has interviewed more than 1,000 people, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the latter apparently provided the panel with “really valuable” information. Other witnesses include former White House lawyers, members of the National Guard, members of right-wing militias and conservatives who took part in a plan to propose fake voters from states won by Joe Biden. Former Assistants to the Vice President Mike Pence, on whom the ex-president led a major campaign to block certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory, would also have been helpful.
While the DOJ has prosecuted more than 800 people who allegedly stormed or aided people who stormed the Capitol, The temperature notes that “over the past several months, the department has taken steps to significantly broaden its scope to examine planning for the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the riot, while also signaling that its investigation would encompass the broader efforts to void the election.” Presumably, this is a less than welcome development for people close to Trump, as is the news that the attorney general Merrick Garland “strengthened the core team tasked with handling the most sensitive and politically combustible elements of the investigation.” That team would now include a veteran federal prosecutor Thomas Windom, who would oversee the question of “whether a case can be brought regarding other efforts to nullify the election, aside from storming the Capitol,” which “could bring the investigation closer to Mr. Trump and his surrounding, “like The temperature reports. A summons seen by The temperature suggests that the DOJ explore the actions of the planners of the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the violent insurgency. The subpoena also reportedly says prosecutors are seeking information on any “members of the executive and legislative branches” who tried to “obstruct, influence, obstruct or delay” the certification of the election. (You know who was both a member of the executive and tried to delay the certification of the election? Hint: It starts with a D and ends with a donald trump!)
In March, the federal judge David Carter said it was “more likely than not” that Trump and the conservative lawyer John Eastman committed crimes in their attempt to change the outcome of the 2020 election, writing: “The illegality of the plan was evident. Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Unaware of this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the Vice President to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election.”
The pace of the DOJ’s investigation has been frustratingly slow, suggesting that Garland may choose not to press charges against the ex-president and his accomplices. In March, at a hearing to vote on dismissals in defiance of Congress for former Trump advisers Dan Scavino and Peter Navaro-who has refuse to cooperate with the investigation, invoking executive privilege – panel member Elaine Luria setting Garland on fire, saying, “Attorney General Garland, do your job so we can do ours.” And in April, The temperature reported that late last year, Biden told those around him that he believed Trump “was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted”, and had “said privately that he wanted Mr. Garland acts less like a heavy judge and more like a prosecutor who is ready to take decisive action in the face of the events of January 6. Defending the approach of the attorney general, former inspector general of justice Michael Bromwich Told The Guardian, “When people (including many attorneys) criticize the DOJ for not focusing the January 6 investigation more clearly on Trump, they are expressing impatience rather than a clear understanding of the investigation’s trajectory. The DOJ is methodically building the case from the bottom up. It is almost certainly the most complex criminal investigation in the nation’s history, involving the most prosecutors, the most investigators, the most digital evidence and the most defendants.
In other Jan. 6 news, the congressional committee said on Tuesday that it does not plan to call Trump as a witness, which appears to be a missed opportunity to get him to speak about the day under oath, even though he would obviously refuse to cooperate. “We are not sure that the evidence we receive can be further validated with his presence,” said the chairman of the committee, the representative Bennie Thompson. “I think the concern is whether or not he would add more value to his testimony.” Meanwhile, according to The Washington Post, republican representative Liz Cheney, the vice chairman of the panel, “was more aggressive than even some Democrats on the committee in wanting to go after Trump directly”. At a private retreat last month, Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy reportedly argued that the committee should focus less on the ex-president’s role “and do more to examine the security and intelligence failures that led to the Capitol being breached by a pro-Trump mob,” while Cheney insisted “the committee should keep an intense focus on the former president. As a Republican spokesperson put it The post office, “Rep. Cheney’s view is that Capitol security is a critical part of the investigation, but the Capitol did not attack itself.” We hope the DOJ agrees with her.
If you would like to receive the Levin Report daily in your inbox, click here register.