Merrick Garland must move faster on Jan. 6 investigations because 'memories are going to fade': Neal Katyal

Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained why he is still worried Attorney General Merrick Garland may not be doing enough to investigate efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Katyal was interviewed by MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace following reports that the Department of Justice is expanding its investigation.

"Federal prosecutors have substantially widened their Jan. 6 investigation to examine the possible culpability of a broad range of figures involved in former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, people familiar with the inquiry said on Wednesday," The New York Times reported. "A grand jury sitting in Washington is investigating the rallies that preceded the storming of the Capitol, a person familiar with the matter said. One of the subpoenas, which was reviewed by The New York Times, sought information about people 'classified as VIP attendees' at Mr. Trump’s Jan. 6 rally."

Wallace said, "that sounds like a whole bunch of people potentially falling into that category."

'Yeah, exactly," Katyal replied.

"As we talked about yesterday, investigations generally start low-level and then go forward and work the way up, but the concern here is that's been almost 500 days since the January 6th attacks and we don't have a real sign that the true higher-ups in the Trump administration and Trump himself are subjects of the investigation or being investigated," he said.

Katyal explained why he thinks we would know if senior Trump officials are being targeted because they would go to court to fight subpoenas.

"But the most importantly the way we generally find out is filing motions to quash subpoenas. They go into court and say, 'Hey, they're making me go before a grand jury, I'm afraid to go tell the truth, so stop this from occurring.' The Trump people file these motions like candy in all the state court actions, but there's been no sign of any such motion here," Katyal explained. "And you have to worry. Memories are going to fade 500 days on and I'm still concerned that the investigation hasn't gotten to the place I'd like it to go."


Neal Katyal