The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly investigating the actions of then-President Donald Trump related to events that happened after the 2020 presidential election.
The Washington Post reported that the DOJ’s investigation into Trump was part of “its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.”
Prosecutors have reportedly questioned former White House officials in front of a grand jury about any conversations that Trump or his advisers may have allegedly had about trying to replace electors in states that Biden won with pro-Trump electors.
Prosecutors have also reportedly asked about Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election and any instructions that Trump may have given his legal team about fake electors.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said during an interview with NBC News Tuesday evening that the criminal investigation into the events of January 6 was “the most wide ranging investigation in its history,” and there will be things that the DOJ finds that the House Select January 6th committee “haven’t found.”
When asked by anchor Lester Holt about whether indicting Trump would “tear the country apart,” Garland responded, “We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable.”
“That’s what we do,” he continued. “We don’t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.”
When asked if Trump announcing another campaign for president would impact how the DOJ would proceed with the case, Garland responded, “I’ll say again that we will 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.”
Merrick Garland: "We will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the legitimate transfer of power from one administration to the next." pic.twitter.com/JvneGCRjDq
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 27, 2022
The report said that there were two areas that the DOJ is broadly looking at that could end up ensnaring Trump in some way, including “seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct a government proceeding,” which are what some of the rioters were charged with; and charges involving potential fraud with using fake electors or trying to pressure government officials to falsely claim the election was rigged.
The report noted that federal criminal investigations into political figures are highly secretive and that many of the investigations end with no criminal charges being filed. The report added that no former U.S. president has ever been charged with a crime and that in cases such as with former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, investigators believed it was better to not charge them in-part because they did not want to be perceived as using government power to go after political opponents.
This report has been updated to include additional information.