So much for the notion that Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice is doing “nothing.” Earlier today the DOJ had the FBI raid multiple homes associated with Trump-connected Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. And now a branch of the DOJ has just gotten a grand jury to criminally indict a sitting House Republican.
The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California, a branch of the Department of Justice, has announced that it’s indicted Congressman Jeff Fortenberry for making false statements to investigators about an illegal foreign donation that had been made to his campaign.
What’s notable here is that Fortenberry made these false statements back in 2019, and the foreign national in question cut a deal with the Feds back in 2019, yet the indictment is just now being brought in 2021. The timing suggests that Bill Barr, who had just become Attorney General months earlier, may have blocked the DOJ from bringing this indictment due to Fortenberry’s status as a Republican.
If that’s indeed the case, then every corrupt politician who escaped prosecution during the Trump era should begin to worry. It’s becoming more and more clear that once Trump was ousted, the DOJ began building (or rebuilding) federal criminal cases against a wide swath of Trump associates and Trump allies, from Jeff Fortenberry to Tom Barrack to Rudy Giuliani to Oleg Deripaska. More indictments and raids are obviously coming. Federal criminal cases take time to build, but things are clearly in motion now.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report