'Strangely AWOL': Legal experts express concern about DOJ’s handling of the Trump investigation

'Strangely AWOL': Legal experts express concern about DOJ’s handling of the Trump investigation
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden applaud Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House announcing Chief Judge Garland as President Obama's nominee to the United States Supreme Court, March 16, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Legal experts are well aware of the fact that the wheels of the justice system turn slow but some are still wondering about the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) sluggish movement toward indicating former President Donald Trump.

In New York, prosecutors have been moving forward with its investigation into the Trump Organization. In Atlanta, the local prosecutor is reportedly convene a special grand jury for her investigation into Trump's effort to overturn the election. But the DOJ has remained silent.

Now, legal experts are wondering why as they inquire about the timeline of a possible indictment for the former president.

"Atlanta is moving faster than DC. Where oh where is Merrick Garland? The DOJ seems strangely AWOL," Laurence Tribe, a legal scholar who taught Garland at Harvard Law School, tweeted.

Speaking to Insider, one Democratic lawyer, said to have inside connections, wondered why the DOJ hasn't made more of an effort to uncover what Trump and his allies did during the time leading up to the January 6 Capitol riot. He also stressed the importance of DOJ officials being proactive if they are serious about possibly bringing charges against the former president.

"What I can't tell is whether the Department of Justice is doing anything to try to figure out what Trump and his senior advisors were doing in the lead-up to January 6," the lawyer said.

"If I wanted to charge this, I'd be looking at texts. I'd be looking at emails," the lawyer added. "I'd be looking at all of that stuff and trying to get cooperators initially to get a sense of what was the plan, what was the coordination between the insurrectionists and the Trump campaign and all that kind of stuff."

"The committee seems to be doing a pretty good job trying to do that, but I don't particularly get the sense the Department of Justice is even looking at it," the lawyer added. "It's focused on the 600 people, and more power to them for going after all of those people. But I just don't even have the feeling that they're even looking at the issue."

However, another legal expert shed light on a different perspective. In order for the DOJ to move forward with a case, there needs to be solid evidence and gathering that type of information could take a substantial amount of time.

"They're going to be extremely careful, make sure they have all their ducks in a row, and make sure a case is really solid before thinking of proceeding. If you're going to shoot at the king, you better kill him," said Randall Eliason, a George Washington University Law School professor and former public-corruption prosecutor at the Justice Department. "You've got to be prepared with a pretty overwhelming case, and that takes a fair amount of time."

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