Report: DOJ Brings In More Firepower—and Takes Aim at Trumpworld

Police radio traffic included reports of a man with an AR-15 in a tree on Constitution Avenue who was accompanied by two men with pistols on their hips. Another officer radioed, “I’ve got three men walking down the street in fatigues carrying AR-15s, copy, at 14th and Independence.” – Washington Post

The bombshell revelations of the House’s Jan. 6 hearings have the Department of Justice putting more manpower—and more real estate—toward its investigations of figures close to ex-President Donald Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The paper revealed the law enforcement agency has expanded the roster, office space, and mission of the band of attorneys digging into Republicans potentially complicit in the bloody attack on the Capitol last year. 

The news comes after the latest rounds of congressional hearings disclosed that a host of GOP congressmen sought pardons in connections with their activism to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, and after feds raided the home of ex-DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark, who the House committee found had assisted Trump in pressuring the agency to falsely claim fraud in the Georgia election results. But the Journal also reported DOJ had grown frustrated with the committee for failing to turn over transcripts of its interviews, particularly with Republicans who participated in false pro-Trump elector slates in states Biden won.

The Daily Beast

As the Justice Department began in late 2021 to develop cases alleging complex conspiracies and investigate sources of funding, it assigned an experienced prosecutor from Maryland, Thomas Windom, to focus on those efforts. Mr. Windom previously met with some skepticism within the department when he pushed to explore the activities of several members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle, the people said, with some officials believing prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to pursue those paths. But the hearings have revealed new details of Mr. Trump’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, that legal experts have said could put the former president in greater legal jeopardy for charges such as fraud, inciting a riot or obstructing the election’s certification.

The testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson in particular—including her allegation that Mr. Trump knew some of the protesters were armed but wanted them at his rally and at the Capitol anyway—has broadened some Justice Department officials’ view of the potential scope of the probe, the people said, though officials said the testimony didn’t prompt any change in investigative strategy.

Hutchinson testified that Trump wanted the magnetometers turned off because they were keeping his supporters away from his speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.  She said Trump said something like: “I don’t effing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags away. Let the people in, they can march to the Capitol from here.”

Former prosecutors have identified that testimony as the first to speak to Mr. Trump’s intent as tension escalated that day, and said it suggests he knew some of the protesters were armed and urged them toward the Capitol anyway as lawmakers were certifying President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Prosecutors would need to prove that Mr. Trump knew his actions would result in violence to pursue a related criminal case against the former president.

Around 850 people have been charged so far in connection to January 6 violence.

The Wall Street Journal

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