On his first anniversary as attorney general, Merrick Garland said he’s committed to unraveling the conspiracy behind the storming of the U.S. Capitol, in what he calls “the most urgent investigation in the history of the Justice Department.”
Members of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot have asserted former President Trump could be charged with conspiracy and obstruction for his actions. But Democrats in Congress and even some of Garland’s friends have worried he’ll shy away from the political firestorm that would result from charging a former commander-in-chief with a crime.
“We are not avoiding cases that are political or cases that are controversial or sensitive,” the attorney general said in an exclusive interview with NPR. “What we are avoiding is making decisions on a political basis, on a partisan basis.”
This week, prosecutors won their first convictions in federal court in a Jan. 6 case against former Texas oil worker Guy Reffitt. That followed a guilty plea to seditious conspiracy by an Alabama man affiliated with the far-right Oath Keepers militia.
“We begin with the cases that are right in front of us with the overt actions and then we build from there,” Garland said. “And that is a process that we will continue to build until we hold everyone accountable who committed criminal acts with respect to January 6.” [Continue reading…]