Jul 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Merrick Garland: DOJ won't rule out prosecuting Trump

NBC News' Lester Holt interviews U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
NBC News' Lester Holt interviews U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: NBC News

Attorney General Merrick Garland did not rule out the possibility of prosecuting former President Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol attack in a Tuesday interview with NBC News' Lester Holt.

Why it matters: The Justice Department is facing pressure to act after multiple members of the Jan. 6 committee said they believe there is evidence Trump committed crimes and he should be investigated.

What he said: “Look, we pursue justice without fear or favor," Garland told Holt when asked if Trump running in 2024 would change the DOJ's investigation timeline.

  • "We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan. 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable. That's what we do," Garland said in the interview.

The big picture: The Jan. 6 committee has continued its laser focus on Trump and anything the former president may have done to encourage or prolong the attack on the Capitol, Axios' Mike Allen writes.

  • Garland said it's "totally up to the committee" whether to issue a criminal referral for Trump.
  • "We will have the evidence that the committee has presented and whatever evidence it gives us," Garland said.
  • "We have our own investigation, pursuing through the principles of prosecution," he added.

Worth noting: Garland's interview will air Tuesday night on "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt" at 6:30pm ET.

Go deeper ... Jan. 6 panel believes there is evidence Trump committed crimes related to riot

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