When President-elect Joe Biden announced Merrick Garland as his pick for Attorney General today, it was a reminder that the Department of Justice is now just thirteen days away from no longer being under Donald Trump’s control. Now federal prosecutors are letting it be known that Trump’s role is already being probed in yesterday’s domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol.
This news, coming from CNN this evening, isn’t surprising. Trump clearly incited yesterday’s attack with several tweets and speeches, specifically directing his supporters to show up at a certain place and time to try to prevent Congress from carrying out its duty of certifying the election. The clear cut evidence provided by Trump himself, and the public outrage over what happened yesterday, all but ensures that the DOJ will criminally charge Trump for the incident once he’s out of office. So why not get the jump now?
This comes even as the news is leaking that Trump is planning to try to pardon himself on his way out of office. That’s expected, and not overly concerning. Most legal experts believe the courts will throw out any self-pardon. And because Trump has committed so many kinds of felonies in office, he’d have to make his self-pardon overly broad, which would make it even more constitutionally flimsy.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report