DOJ has moved beyond 'small fish' — and is 'working their way up' to the coup leaders: CNN legal analyst
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin outlined how the latest developments indicate Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department are moving on from the low-level cases in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — and going straight after the architects of the plot.
"One of the criticisms that a lot of people have had of the Justice Department is they're just concentrating on the small fish here, the foot soldiers who were inside the Capitol, and there are hundreds of them, and they're all being prosecuted," said Toobin. "But as we've seen in the last couple of weeks, we now have a seditious conspiracy case against the Oath Keepers. And now it appears that they're investigating the provision of false Electoral College slates."
"All of this is working their way up," continued Toobin. "And this is what the attorney general said he was going to do, and it appears like that's actually what they're doing."
Jeffrey Toobin says DOJ is moving on from "small fish" in January 6 investigation www.youtube.com
Trump allies won't say who wrote voting machines memo -- and they want 'nothing to do' with it: report
Trump advisers who championed the idea of seizing voting machines in the wake of the 2020 election are now distancing themselves from a draft executive order that would have instructed the secretary of defense to carry out the plan.
Among those advising former president Donald Trump to seize voting machines were MAGA attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday.
"But a year later, as the investigations and lawsuits further intensify, with the subpoenas flying and the legal bills soaring, the Trumpist gang is taking a curious approach to a newly published draft of the Trump executive-order outlining their brazenly authoritarian blueprint. They now want absolutely nothing to do with it," according to the Daily Beast. "The ongoing game of hot potato over the draft EO, with the would-be coup participants all invoking the Shaggy defense, underscores a nagging mystery that investigators on the congressional Jan. 6 committee and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been trying to solve: Who, exactly, wrote the order for Trump, and what other related schemes did the then-president, along with his aides and cronies, work to turn into reality?"
Byrne told the Daily Beast: “I do not recognize it and neither does General [Michael] Flynn. It is not what we brought over [to Trump] on December 18, ."
Flynn reportedly has been telling people privately that he doesn't recognize the draft order, while Wood said last week, “I had no involvement."
Powell did not respond to repeated inquiries about whether she wrote the draft executive order, according to the Daily Beast.
Four sources involved with the Trump transition team said they couldn't confirm who wrote the draft order. However, they all said they assumed at that time that it was Powell, given that she was the main driver of the idea.
"I often did not know who wrote what, or where each crazy document came from," one of the sources said. "The stuff that Sidney and Rudy [Giuliani] and other people were pushing then, you couldn't tell if they wrote it or if they pulled it off a weird website somewhere. I told the [then-]president that many of these documents looked like they could have been written by a ten-year-old. As far as I know, they could have.”
Independent researchers have noted that the document "shares a number of similarities to one published to Powell’s PDF-hosting account on Scribd in December, which has since been removed," according to the Daily Beast.
Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, told the site: “It doesn’t surprise me at all that the author of this memo isn’t coming forward. After all, that person would be buying him or herself expensive legal bills, potential embarrassment, and a lot of unwanted attention from governmental authorities."
During an interview with CNN's Tom Foreman this week, Christopher Krebs, who served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency under former President Donald Trump, tore into the draft executive order that was meant to execute a coup and overturn the results of the 2020 election.
"It reads like a fictional thriller," said Foreman. "The inauguration postponed, voting machines seized by the military and Donald Trump's time extended by weeks. The December 2020 draft executive order could have triggered all of that if it had been signed and enacted before Joe Biden's win was certified."
Foreman characterized it as "a patchwork of conspiracy theories and dubious legal arguments previously pushed by Team Trump."
"The sheer brazenness and illegality of it all is shocking," said Krebs. "This is a violation of a restriction on using federal troops for domestic law enforcement action."
"We don't know who wrote the draft executive order," said Foreman. "There are a lot of rumors. We don't know why it was never signed or if it was seriously considered. But it fits into the desperate maneuvers by Team Trump to deny the unequivocal loss at the polls, even if this paper was not worth the paper it was written on."
Tom Foreman reports on Trump's election coup order www.youtube.com