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Capitol Insurrection Crime Donald Trump Justice Department

Legal Experts: Today’s Remarks From AG Garland Make It Clear ‘Trump Should Not Sleep Well’

Attorney General Merrick Garland said today that the Justice Department will continue the investigation of the horror that transpired during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and follow the evidence wherever it leads.

“The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last. The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.”

The mention of holding all perpetrators “at any level” accountable caught the ear of several legal experts who noted that it’s a clear signal the DOJ is indeed looking to charge failed, one-term former President Donald Trump if the evidence supports such a prosecution.

Former White House counsel John Dean weighed in on Twitter:

Civil rights attorney Andrew Laufer echoed Dean and also slapped down someone who tried to belittle his take on what Garland said:

Others then joined the debate:

Merrick Garland may not be operating on the schedule that pleases the masses, but he’s clearly taking his job seriously. And he just let the world know that no one will get a free pass if they took part in the terror of Jan. 6.

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Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

Former AG Bill Barr Was Served With Legal Summons And ‘Did Not Appear Happy’ About It

Former Attorney General William Barr isn’t used to being on the receiving end of bad legal news, but that’s exactly what happened today when he was served with a summons at his home in McLean, Virginia.

The summons is part of a lawsuit filed by former Trump attorney/fixer Michael Cohen, who alleges that Barr and ex-President Trump violated his First Amendment rights in 2020.

Specifically, according to Law & Crime, Cohen alleges that Barr had him placed in solitary confinement when it became known that he was writing a tell-all book:

Donald Trump’s former fixer turned critic Michael Cohen sued the former president, ex-Attorney General Bill Barr and other members of the previous administration on Thursday for sending him back to prison last year for 16 days of solitary confinement in alleged retaliation for writing a book.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled in July of 2020 that it was clear the DOJ under Barr’s instructions, wanted to silence him, writing:

“I make the finding that the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it’s retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others.”

Word that Barr had been served came from Andrew Laufer, an attorney for Cohen, who noted that Barr was “wearing shorts and did not appear happy.”

Cohen also confirmed that Barr had been slapped with the summons, doing a bit of celebrating on Twitter:

 

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Capitol Insurrection Crime Donald Trump Justice Department

Former Senator Lays Out How Merrick Garland Can Get A Grand Jury To Indict Trump For Jan. 6

With each day, we get more evidence and information that points directly to former President Donald Trump’s complicity in the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

But a larger question remains: Will Trump be referred for criminal charges by the Jan. 6 committee, and if so, what will the Justice Department under Attorney General Merrick Garland do with such a referral?

Former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), who worked for years as a prosecutor before she ran for office, laid out a road map for Garland and the DOJ when it comes to indicting Trump, explaining what she thinks the AG should do regarding the ex-president.

During an appearance on MSNBC Monday, McCaskill told host Nicolle Wallace that federal prosecutors should walk a grand jury through Trump’s inaction for over three hours as he watched the rioting take place at the Capitol:

“We can go through and we can put the images at a specific time. And we can then fill in the text messages, the phone calls that were flooding the White House saying, get him to call them off. Now, what was he watching on TV at those moments? He was watching windows being broken. He was watching police officers being stabbed with flag poles. He was watching people hang from the balcony in the Senate. He was watching people carry around government property proudly like trophies in the capital. And, frankly, he was watching a confrontation at the door of the House where someone was killed.”

McCaskill added:

“Give me those facts. Give me those timelines, and give me a jury. I’m just telling you, any responsible leader would want to end the violence, not provoke it. That’s what he did that day, and that’s what this committee is going to layout. And that’s where Merrick Garland is either going to rise to the occasion or go down in infamy as one of the worst attorney generals in this country’s history.”

The case against Donald Trump, members of his administration, and some members of Congress could not possibly be more damning. If AG Garland doesn’t pursue criminal charges against each and every person who played a role in the Capitol insurrection, we can expect it to happen again.

Categories
Capitol Insurrection Donald Trump Justice Department

January 6 Select Committee Preparing To Refer Trump To DOJ For Dereliction Of Duty: Report

The House Select Committee on the January 6 Capitol insurrection is preparing to decide what criminal referrals it will forward to the Justice Department regarding former President Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the horrific attack on the seat of government.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told The Washington Post that the most likely referral would be for dereliction of duty as Trump dithered for over three hours before finally releasing a video instructing his supporters to clear the Capitol grounds:

Of particular interest is why it took so long for (Trump) to call on his supporters to stand down, an area of inquiry that includes obtaining several versions of a video Trump reportedly recorded before finally releasing a message 187 minutes after he told his supporters to march on the Capitol during the rally that preceded the attack.

“It appears that he tried to do a taping several times, but he wouldn’t say the right thing,” Thompson said, basing his statement on information the panel has gleaned from interviews with witnesses as well as media reports about that day.

Thompson made a specific reference to dereliction of duty, but other charges could also be referred to the DOJ once the committee has completed its investigation:

“That dereliction of duty causes us real concern,” Thompson said. “And one of those concerns is that whether or not it was intentional, and whether or not that lack of attention for that longer period of time, would warrant a referral.”

Another possible charge that may be referred to the Justice Department is criminally obstructing Congress in performing its official duties. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who serves as vice chair of the Jan. 6 panel, has suggested Trump did indeed try to obstruct the certification of electoral votes on that fateful day as both houses were meeting in joint session to declare the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

On December 14, Cheney remarked:

“Mr. Meadows’s testimony will bear on another key question before this committee: Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes?”

A criminal referral isn’t necessary for the DOJ to take up the matter, and most legal experts suggest the agency is already weighing whether or not Trump and others should be charged for their actions prior to and on the day of the Capitol riots. But a criminal referral from the committee — along with evidence and testimony the panel has gathered — would certainly provide a strong impetus for indictments.

 

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Civil Rights Crime Justice Department

Kyle Rittenhouse Facing Federal Charges As DOJ Is Called On To Review Case

Accused Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury of his peers today, with NBC News reporting:

Rittenhouse was charged with reckless homicide in the slaying of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber, 26.

He also faced a charge of attempted intentional homicide for severely wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, a 27-year-old paramedic from suburban Milwaukee who was there that night volunteering his medical services, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety.

But Rittenhouse is not in the clear legally. He could still face federal charges, and the Justice Department is being called on review the case and see if he should be charged.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted out a call for the DOJ to take a close look at Rittenhouse:


Specifically, Rittenhouse could face being charged with federal civil rights violations and a hate crime. That decision will have to be made by the DOJ, and it could impact future cases of this type when protesters are targeted by those who disagree with them.

So while Kyle Rittenhouse may be in the clear for the moment, there’s a very good chance he’s going to be back in court very soon, and his luck will eventually run out.