Updated Apr 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Garland: DOJ won't cave to political pressure in Jan. 6 probe

US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, on April 1, 2022.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C, on April 1. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday said he would not give in to pressure to expedite charges stemming from the Jan. 6 investigation in the House.

Driving the news: Democrats are pushing Garland to charge Trump loyalists who have refused to cooperate with subpoenas issued by the House Select Committee probing the Jan. 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol.

What he's saying: “The only pressure I feel, and the only pressure that our line prosecutors feel, is to do the right thing," Garland said during a press conference at the Justice Department. "That means we follow the facts and the law, wherever they may lead."

The big picture: On Monday, a federal judge ordered Trump ally John Eastman to turn over a trove of documents to the House select committee leading the Jan. 6 investigation and in his ruling said Trump "corruptly attempted to obstruct" the Joint Session of Congress.

  • The select committee also recommended House contempt votes against former Trump aides Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro for their refusal to comply with subpoenas.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) pressed Garland to move quickly regarding the committee recommendation, adding, "We're trying to prevent another Jan. 6," Schiff said. "We feel a sense of urgency and we hope the department does also."
  • Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) said the Justice Department "must act swiftly," adding: "Attorney General Garland, do your job so that we can do ours."

Reality check: President Joe Biden told reporters Monday, however, that he wouldn't seek to influence the attorney general or lawmakers on the matter.

  • "I told you I would not tell the Justice Department what position to take or not take, and I’m not going to instruct the Congress, either," Biden said.
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