The Washington Post reveals that Justice Dept. prosecutors and FBI agent’s faced the prospects of going after a former President for criminal actions….
Something they have NOW done and we await possible criminal indictments in addition to Donald Trump’s two and more on the way…..
A Washington Post investigation found that more than a year would pass before prosecutors and FBI agents jointly embarked on a formal probe of actions directed from the White House to try to steal the election. Even then, the FBI stopped short of identifying the former president as a focus of that investigation.
A wariness about appearing partisan, institutional caution, and clashes over how much evidence was sufficient to investigate the actions of Trump and those around him all contributed to the slow pace. Garland and the deputy attorney general, Lisa Monaco, charted a cautious course aimed at restoring public trust in the department while some prosecutors below them chafed, feeling top officials were shying away from looking at evidence of potential crimes by Trump and those close to him, The Post found.
In November 2022, after Trump announced he was again running for president, making him a potential 2024 rival to President Biden, Garland appointed special counsel Jack Smith to take over the investigation into Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election….
But the discovery of top-secret documents in Trump’s possession triggered an urgent national security investigation that laid out a well-defined legal path for prosecutors, compared with the unprecedented task of building a case against Trump for trying to steal the election.
Whether a decision about Trump’s culpability for Jan. 6 could have come any earlier is unclear. The delays in examining that question began before Garland was even confirmed. Sherwin, senior Justice Department officials and Paul Abbate, the top deputy to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, quashed a plan by prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office to directly investigate Trump associates for any links to the riot, deeming it premature, according to five individuals familiar with the decision. Instead, they insisted on a methodical approach — focusing first on rioters and going up the ladder.
The strategy was embraced by Garland, Monaco and Wray. They remained committed to it even as evidence emerged of an organized, weeks-long effort by Trump and his advisers before Jan. 6 to pressure state leaders, Justice officials and Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of Biden’s victory.
In the weeks before Jan. 6, Trump supporters boasted publicly that they had submitted fake electors on his behalf, but the Justice Department declined to investigate the matter in February 2021, The Post found. The department did not actively probe the effort for nearly a year, and the FBI did not open an investigation of the electors scheme until April 2022, about 15 months after the attack.
The Justice Department’s painstaking approach to investigating Trump can be traced to Garland’s desire to turn the page from missteps, bruising attacks and allegations of partisanship in the department’s recent investigations of both Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Inside Justice, however, some lawyers have complained that the attorney general’s determination to steer clear of any claims of political motive has chilled efforts to investigate the former president. “You couldn’t use the T word,” said one former Justice official briefed on prosecutors’ discussions….
Then, on Nov. 18, Garland abruptly summoned to Main Justice the D.C.-based prosecutors working on the Jan. 6 conspiracy as well as those who had already gathered extensive evidence of Trump concealing classified records at his Mar-a-Lago resort. The attorney general told them that to ensure the appearance of independence into the two probes of a potential Biden rival, he would appoint a special counsel later that day. While the prosecutors could choose their next steps, Garland said he hoped they would continue the work under Smith.
Cooney, who had worked with Smith almost a decade earlier, as well as Windom and roughly 20 others, signed on.
A new chief prosecutor would typically need weeks or months to get up to speed on a high-priority investigation. But Smith issued subpoenas in the Jan. 6 probe after just four days, picking up where the U.S. attorney’s office had left off, seeking communications between officials in three swing states and Trump, his campaign, and 19 advisers and attorneys who had worked to keep him in power….
On Tuesday, as Trump pleaded not guilty to those charges in federal court in Miami, Smith’s investigation into efforts to steal the election continued: Michael McDonald and Jim DeGraffenreid, the chairman and vice chairman of the Nevada Republican Party who had signed a document claiming to be electors for Trump, entered the area of the D.C. federal courthouse where a grand jury has been meeting on cases related to Jan. 6…..