Now that multiple major news outlets have confirmed over the past few days that the Department of Justice has had a January 6th grand jury targeting Trump world for at least the past two months, this phenomenal news is still being met with a lot of angry heckling along the lines of “It’s about time!” or “Why didn’t it happen sooner?”
But when you look at the overall timeline for the DOJ’s January 6th probe as we now understand it, Merrick Garland and his DOJ have in fact moved much more swiftly and aggressively than one have presumed.
In March of 2021, Garland took over the Department of Justice that was by all accounts in shambles due to the hijinks, resignations, and improper firings of the Trump era. It would be fair to presume that by May of 2021, Garland certainly would have had time to assess the DOJ’s January 6th probe, take control of it, get his own people in place, and send it off to the races.
In January of 2022, Garland’s DOJ indicted and arrested the entire Oath Keepers leadership. This resulted in one known cooperating plea deal, with Roger Stone’s Oath Keeper driver – the first clear sign that the DOJ was criminally targeting Trump world for January 6th.
No more than two weeks after arresting the Oath Keepers leadership, the DOJ had a grand jury begin subpoenaing key members of Trump world, including unnamed Trump administration officials and unnamed people who work in Congress. That grand jury has been operating ever since, and has cast a wide enough net that some of the people being targeted by it decided to run to the media and leak its existence.
So from the time he took over the DOJ, it took Merrick Garland a total of eight months (or ten months if you want to be harsh) to investigate and flip his way up through the entire January 6th hierarchy until he was able to take down and begin flipping the Oath Keepers leaders. He then immediately, no more than two weeks later, began formally targeting Trump world with a grand jury.
So where’s the complaint? As we now understand the timeline and progress of the DOJ’s January 6th probe, there is nothing to complain about. There are just people on social media yelling angry things, either because they don’t understand the process or because they enjoy being angry, and the pundits who pander to them by pretending Garland is doing nothing.
It took Garland just eight months to take down everyone who was on the ground on January 6th, and get at least one of the most important people on the ground to cut a plea deal against Trump world. Garland since spent the past two months formally targeting Trump world. There’s still the question of whether Garland’s approach will succeed in taking Trump down in the end. But Garland has publicly promised us multiple times that he’ll take this to the top. And his timeline thus far has been impressive; one would have to distort the facts pretty badly to pretend otherwise.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report