The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly begun to investigate former President Donald Trump as part of their criminal probe into the January 6th assault on Capitol Hill.
Sources familiar with the probe spoke to the Washington Post anonymously. According to them, federal prosecutors have already interviewed witnesses before a grand jury. They supposedly asked them about conversations between Trump, his inner circle, and even his various lawyers regarding a plot to replace Electoral College members with pro-Trump alternate electors in states the former President felt like he should have won.
The sources told the paper that prosecutors focused specifically on premeditated plans to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results on January 6th and whether or not Trump had any hand in rounding up the slate of fake electors they were hoping to use to justify the claims.
While it has been well documented that the DOJ was already probing some of Trump’s closest advisors like his lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, the new claims are the first report of any direct criminal probes into the former President.
The new reports come less than a week after Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the Department of Justice to adhere to a 2020 order from then AG Bill Barr to avoid criminal probes into “politically sensitive individuals and entities”.
“Department employees must also adhere to the additional requirements issued by the Attorney General on February 5, 2020, governing the opening of criminal and counterintelligence investigations by the Department, including its law enforcement agencies, related to politically sensitive individuals and entities,” the memo states.
While Trump’s involvement in an ongoing criminal probe is likely to concern Republicans looking to align themselves with the former President, it doesn’t mean that the DOJ is necessarily considering any charges. Do you think it should be legal to charge an ex president with a crime committed while they were in office or is that too political?