Merrick Garland vows to charge 'anyone who was criminally responsible' for January 6th

Merrick Garland vows to charge 'anyone who was criminally responsible' for January 6th
Image via screengrab.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, gave a rare interview assuring that the Dept. of Justice has not ruled out prosecuting Donald Trump. As some legal experts noted, the former federal judge was clearly responding to increased public frustration and anger over the lack of high-level prosecutions of those responsible for the January 6 insurrection,

“We pursue justice without fear or favor,” Garland told NBC News anchor Lester Holt on Tuesday. It is a phrase used by judges perhaps more than prosecutors, and one made popular in 1896 by the publisher of The New York Times.

Holt told Garland, “the indictment of a former president, perhaps candidate for president, would arguably tear the country apart,” and asked: “Is that your concern as you make your decision down the road here? Do you have to think about things like that?”

READ MORE: Ex-Mueller prosecutor highlights a piece of Trump's Jan. 7 speech that might expose a White House cover-up

“Look,” replied Garland, seemingly frustrated. “We pursue justice without fear or favor. We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6th, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to the another accountable. That’s what we do. We don’t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.”

566 days after the U.S. Capitol and American democracy were attacked, not everyone sees it the same way.

The Attorney General, appearing to choose his words carefully, promised to “hold accountable anyone who was criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”

Six weeks ago, also responding to frustration of Americans not seeing high level actors of the insurrection arrested and charged, “remained cagey about whether the Justice Department is exploring the potential criminal culpability of former President Donald Trump or his top advisers in the insurrection at the Capitol,” as Politico had reported.

READ MORE: Mike Pence's chief of staff subpoenaed and interviewed by federal grand jury

The Guardian on Tuesday noted that the DOJ “is itself investigating Trump’s election subversion efforts.”

In March Attorney General Garland, the former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit told NPR: “We are not avoiding cases that are political or cases that are controversial or sensitive.”

In recent days on social media many have spoken out against Garland.

One popular commentator, author Don Winslow, last week wrote a note to the Attorney General:

After video of Garland’s interview was released, Winslow added this clip of then-President Trump saying, “Had I not fired James Come… it’s possible I wouldn’t even be standing here right now.”

Just days ago former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner wrote an MSNBC opinion piece titled, “Trump’s criminal intent is now clear. Merrick Garland’s intentions aren’t.”

On Monday, former Harvard Law law professor Laurence Tribe, who literally wrote the book on the Constitution, wrote: “Now that the summer season of the January 6 Committee’s hearings is over, it’s time to tell AG Garland he has NO CHOICE but to INDICT the former president. NOT indicting Trump amounts to giving him an unearned PARDON. Handing out pardons isn’t within any AG’s job description.”

Former SDNY prosecutor Richard Signorelli served up this observation: “Remember how psyched the Garland cult was when he spoke about no person being above the law . . . in early January. Not one insider charged before or since. Trump does not fear Garland. Indeed, he can’t believe his luck with both Garland and [NY Attorney Alvin] Bragg.”

Watch below or at this link:

READ MORE: 'Overwhelming evidence' but no prosecution? Legal experts grapple with DOJ’s tepid response to Trump

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