In his Wednesday speech before the Justice Department, Attorney General Merrick Garland noted that he and the lawyers at the DOJ would prosecute everyone involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol "at any level."
The quote was something that former White House lawyer John Dean saw as an indication that Garland is willing to prosecute former President Donald Trump or even members of Congress if the evidence shows that they committed a crime.
Thus far, the FBI has focused on the thousands of Trump supporters who breached the building, attacked police officers and terrorized those working inside the building.
"Donald Trump and his co-conspirators should not sleep well!" tweeted Dean.
Civil rights attorney Andrew Laufer also pointed to the quote, saying that it was a bold statement. When a follower replied that they didn't believe it, Laufer noted that Garland isn't the type to say something like that if he didn't intend to make a move.
"... at any level..." Attorney General Merrick Garland on who will be held responsible for attacks on democracy. Donald Trump and his co-conspirators should not sleep well!— John W. Dean (@John W. Dean) 1641413959
Bold statement by AG Garland. I like it. #January6https://twitter.com/spiroagnewghost/status/1478812840559472641\u00a0\u2026— Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@Andrew C Laufer, Esq) 1641411519
Garland wouldn\u2019t say something like that if DOJ wasn\u2019t going to make a move.— Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@Andrew C Laufer, Esq) 1641412836
NOT noticed amid all the focus on Merrick Garland's speech: His DOJ was accused of politicization today by Tom Barrack's lawyer, bc Garland DIDN'T let Billy Barr kill it forever.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) 1641415518
it also makes it at least a tad harder to refuse referral from Congress backed by strong evidence.https://twitter.com/harrylitman/status/1478821927397457922\u00a0\u2026— Harry Litman (@Harry Litman) 1641413667
Strong, emphatic, and determined speech by Garland. The key quote is when he referred to perpetrators who may not have been at the Capitol on Jan 6. But open question remains whether investig has or will extend to efforts to overturn the election, separate from Jan 6 culpability.— Daniel Goldman (@Daniel Goldman) 1641413914
Thread\n\n4 salient points from #MerrickGarland\n\nOne\n\n"There cannot be different rules for the powerful and the powerless"\n\nThere is no "lock him up"\n\nThere is the rule of law-which must be applied equally\n\nSo if there is evidence that Trump committed crimes\n\nHE MUST BE CHARGEDhttps://twitter.com/zoetillman/status/1478815852694757381\u00a0\u2026— Adam Cohen Lawyers for Good Government #DemCast (@Adam Cohen Lawyers for Good Government #DemCast) 1641415375
let's discuss when we do our 1-on-1 in a few ....but personally I think aiding and abetting the impeding of proceeding, ie the very felony charge they have begun to employ, is plainly criminal. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-12-30/donald-trump-criminal-liability-jan-6-aid-and-abet\u00a0\u2026https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/status/1478822976929865730\u00a0\u2026— Harry Litman (@Harry Litman) 1641413968
yes interesting and not obvious that he linked it to voting rightshttps://twitter.com/matthewamiller/status/1478822316809363460\u00a0\u2026— Harry Litman (@Harry Litman) 1641414007
AG Garland said DOJ remains committed to holding all 1/6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable, whether they were present (at the Capitol) that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the attack on our democracy. \n\nAmen, Mr. Attorney General— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner) 1641414384
AG Garland said the lessons of Watergate teach us that there must NOT be different rules for the powerful & the powerless. Given the bottom-up nature of criminal investigations, the relatively powerless - Trump\u2019s foot soldiers - are being held accountable. Next up? The powerful.— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner) 1641414653