On Tuesday, Rolling Stone reported that Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco is clarifying former President Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution due to his political status — even if he launches another bid for president.
"'We’re going to continue to do our job, to follow the facts wherever they go, no matter where they lead, no matter to what level,' said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, according to a Bloomberg report," noted Nikki McCann Ramirez. "'We’re going to continue to investigate what was fundamentally an attack on our democracy.'"
"Rolling Stone reported Sunday that Trump has been telling associates that his desire to be president again stems in part from a desire to thwart criminal investigations against him," continued the report. "'He says when [not if] he is president again, a new Republican administration will put a stop to the [Justice Department] investigation that he views as the Biden administration working to hit him with criminal charges — or even put him and his people in prison,' a source with knowledge of the situation said."
Monaco's statement directly disputes this claim — however, it remains unclear whether Trump will actually be charged with anything.
A memo by Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed last night on MSNBC indicated that any potential charges against a politician should be cleared at the highest levels first — a relatively standard practice to prevent politically motivated prosecutions, but also one that leaves Garland with a large amount of discretionary power to decide whether or not a prosecution of Trump would preserve the agency's political neutrality.
"Investigating a presidential candidate has vexed federal law enforcement before, as agencies have tried to walk a line between upholding the law and avoiding the influence of political interference. During the 2016 election, the FBI and Justice Department took pains to keep quiet about the extent of their investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives," noted the report. "But with regard to the Jan. 6 investigation, Monaco said, the department would not let a potential Trump candidacy deter them from investigating the insurrection to the fullest. 'The mandate the team has remains, which is to follow the facts wherever they go, regardless of what level, regardless of whether the subject of those investigations were present on Jan. 6,' she said."
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