During the Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse asked AG Merrick Garland for reassurance that the criminal investigations into January 6th have not been “constrained” to only those who entered the Capitol.
Garland said he’s “very limited” as to what he can say because his department’s criminal investigation is “going forward.” But he hinted to Whitehouse that the investigation is much bigger.
Whitehouse: Great. And the old doctrine of “follow the money,” which is a well-established principle of prosecution, is alive and well?
Garland: It’s fair to say that all investigative techniques of which you’re familiar and some, maybe, that you’re not familiar with because they post-date your time are all being pursued in this matter.
Constitutional expert Laurence Tribe thinks Garland is being too timid.
Listen to AG Garland’s reply to Sen. Whitehouse and decide for yourself how urgently he wants to get to the bottom of the seditious conspiracy against the government we chose in the November 2020 election. Retweet if you’re worried that Garland is proceeding too hesitantly https://t.co/Jj3fDYxaWk
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) October 29, 2021
Elie Mystal, writing before Garland’s October 27 testimony, blasted the DOJ for “letting the coup plotters get away."
And a “not constrained” investigation hardly sounds the same as "zealously pursuing."
But people whom I respect just as much think Garland is doing just fine. For example, John Dean:
Garland is telling us that there is a full investigation of the Trump Insurrection being undertaken by DOJ. There is no need for a Special Counsel if this is the situation. They are going after the low hanging fruit first! Higher Ups will follow. pic.twitter.com/7NwsM04MAJ
— John W. Dean (@JohnWDean) October 29, 2021
Marcy Wheeler agrees. “We are still just nine months into this investigation, an instant in the terms of complex conspiracy investigations like this one,” she pointed out, and “It’s not clear what DOJ is going to be able to prove in court.”
But even though Wheeler says “for now” the DOJ appears to be on the right track, and I’m willing to grant that Garland needs time to quietly build what will have to be a solid case, if he can’t get it done before Republicans take back Congress, all bets could be off.