AG Garland Makes Statement on Trump Jan. 6 Indictment

AG Garland Makes Statement on Trump Jan. 6 Indictment
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice’s Robert F. Kennedy building in Washington on June 23, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Attorney General Merrick Garland, while at an event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, issued a brief comment on the latest indictment against former President Donald Trump.

A grand jury in Washington had approved four felony charges on Aug. 1 against Mr. Trump regarding his efforts to dispute the results of the 2020 election and with the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Mr. Garland, who leads the Department of Justice, in late 2022 had appointed Jack Smith as the special counsel in two probes involving Mr. Trump. The first indictment from Mr. Smith’s investigation had dealt Mr. Trump 40 counts relating to the alleged retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home.

Mr. Smith, a veteran prosecutor with the DOJ, on Tuesday announced the second and latest indictment arising from his investigations.

NTD Photo
Special counsel Jack Smith speaks to the press at the Department of Justice building in Washington on Aug. 1, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

In the press conference, Mr. Smith called the events of Jan. 6, 2021, “an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” one “fueled” by lies aimed at disrupting the government’s “bedrock function” of conducting and certifying elections. He added he would seek a “speedy trial.”

While leaving an event in Philadelphia, Mr. Garland responded to a question from a reporter who asked whether the indictment against Mr. Trump would be the end of Mr. Smith’s probe into whether there was unlawful interference with the transfer of power after the 2020 election or the certification of the electoral college vote on Jan. 6, 2021. The reporter also asked whether more people could face charges.

“Immediately after the Jan. 6 attack on our democracy, the men and women of the Justice Department engaged in what had become the largest investigation in our history,” Mr. Garland said.

He reiterated that in November 2022 he had appointed Mr. Smith as special counsel “to take on the ongoing investigation in order to underline the department’s commitment to accountability and independence.”

“Mr. Smith and his team of experienced, principled career agents and prosecutors have followed the facts and the law wherever they lead,” said Mr. Garland.

“Any questions about this matter will have to be answered by the filings made in the courtroom.”

He did not answer any further questions.

Mr. Garland had just finished attending a National Night Out event on 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue in Philadelphia. The event is part of an annual community building initiative to build rapport and promote partnerships between the community and police departments across the country.

Mr. Trump, the Republican 2024 presidential frontrunner, is scheduled to appear in court in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

NTD Photo
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington on June 24, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

‘Pathetic Attempt’

The Trump campaign has described the new indictment as a politically motivated attack.

“This is nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election, in which President Trump is the undisputed frontrunner and leading by substantial margins,” the Trump campaign said in a statement.

“But why did they wait 2 1/2 years to bring these fake charges, right in the middle of President Trump’s winning campaign for 2024? Why was it announced the day after the big crooked Joe Biden scandal broke out from the halls of Congress?

“The answer is, election interference!” the statement continues. “The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes. President Trump has always followed the law and the Constitution, with advice from many highly accomplished attorneys.

“These un-American witch hunts will fail and President Trump will be re-elected to the White House so he can save our Country from the abuse, incompetence, and corruption that is running through the veins of our Country at levels never seen before.”

Mr. Trump issued a statement on Truth Social late Tuesday: “Why didn’t they bring this ridiculous case 2.5 years ago? They wanted it right in the middle of my campaign, that’s why!”

The DOJ’s investigations had begun well before Mr. Smith’s appointment in November 2022, proceeding alongside separate criminal probes into the Jan. 6 defendants.

More than 1,000 people have been dealt charges by the DOJ accusing them of having committed federal crimes on Jan. 6, 2021, with some being accused of seditious conspiracy.

Dozens of Americans continue to be held in prison without trial.

This is the third time Mr. Trump has been dealt criminal charges. Besides federal indictments stemming from Mr. Smith’s investigations, the former president was issued state criminal charges of falsifying business records in New York in April. Mr. Trump and many Americans have dismissed all such charges as political persecution.

Janice Hisle contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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