Justice Department Investigating Former President Donald Trump

donald trump
Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Was something illegal going on in the Oval Office?

“No one, no one is above the law,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland yesterday as the Department of Justice (DOJ) began an investigation of former President Donald Trump. The central issue is whether Trump, in the final days of his administration, committed criminal acts leading up to the January 6th riots in Washington and his efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election. Prosecutors are focused on meetings Trump led in December 2020 and January 2021. His actions and conversations will tell the story the DOJ officials are anxious to hear.  

The DOJ has been carefully laying the groundwork for the investigation but it is too early to tell if Trump himself is a target. Already several high administration officials are in the crosshairs of prosecutors. Two advisers to former Vice President Donald Trump have already testified before a federal grand jury. Rudy Giuliani, former adviser to the president, is also a likely target of the investigation.   

Was there a conspiracy to stop government proceedings and the certification of the election? This investigation is different from the Congressional inquiry because only the DOJ has the ability to bring indictments. They will have to prove criminal intent. It is a highly complicated legal and political issue that could further divide the country and impact November’s mid-term elections. 

Former President Trump continues to deny wrongdoing and remains the standard bearer for the Republican Party. Trump gave his first speech in Washington yesterday since President Joe Biden took office and hinted clearly that he intends to run again. In remarks to the American First Policy Institute, Trump spoke in favor of enhanced presidential power that would allow him to fire federal workers and replace them with loyalists. “We need to make it much easier to fire rogue bureaucrats who are deliberately undermining democracy or, at a minimum, just want to keep their jobs,” said Trump. “Congress should pass historic reforms empowering the president to ensure that any bureaucrat who is corrupt, incompetent or unnecessary for the job can be told – did you ever hear this? – ‘You’re fired. Get out. You’re fired. Have to do it. Deep state.”

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