Former Trump White House communications director Alyssa Farah said Wednesday that she knows of former Trump staffers who have been contacted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and are willing to cooperate in a criminal probe into the January 6 attack and Trump’s actions.
The Washington Post first reported that the DOJ is now looking into Trump’s response leading up to and during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
‘I am aware of other White House officials who have been reached out to by DOJ and are planning to cooperate,’ Farah said on CNN’s New Day.
Hinting at who that might be, she said: ‘I think you could piece it together based on who has testified before the January 6th committee.’
Former deputy communications director Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, a member of the National Security Council, testified at the committee’s last hearing on July 19. Their deposition came after bombshell testimony from former aide to White House chief of staff Mike Pence, Cassidy Hutchinson, about Trump throwing plates of food against the wall and lunging for the steering wheel when his Secret Service detail would not let him join the rioters at the Capitol.
‘I am aware of other White House officials who have been reached out to by DOJ and are planning to cooperate,’ Farah said on CNN’s New Day
Numerous others have spoken to the committee in either recorded closed-door testimony or public depositions, including the former president’s daughter and son-in-law Jared Kushner, former Attorney General Bill Barr, his White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
The DOJ has already brought in two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence, signaling its probe is reaching into the Trump White House and directly looking at his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Sources told the paper that federal prosecutors have interviewed witnesses before a grand jury and asked them about conversations between Trump, his lawyers and members of his inner circle regarding a plot to replace Electoral College members with pro-Trump alternate electors in states President Joe Biden won.
Prosecutors have asked detailed questions about meetings Trump held in December 2020 and January 2021, gathering information on his campaign to pressure Pence to overturn the election results, and what instructions – if any – Trump gave his team about the fake electors scheme.
The Department of Justice is investigating former President Donald Trump’s actions as part of its criminal probe on the January 6, The Washington Post reported Tuesday evening
Rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump are seen surrounding the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021
That scheme was led by Trump’s election lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, but prosecutors wanted to know the extent of the now ex-president’s involvement, The Post said.
Specifically, what did Trump tell his allies to do as he sought to overturn the 2020 election result.
While it had been previously reported that investigators were looking into the conduct of some in Trump’s inner circle – including Giuliani and Eastman – The Post was first to report that DOJ officials were looking into Trump’s actions.
The paper also reported that investigators received the phone records of Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Two subpoenas obtained by The Post issued to two Arizona state lawmakers who posed as fake electors asked for communications with ‘any member, employee, or agent of Donald J. Trump or any organization advocating in favor of the 2020 re-election of Donald J. Trump, including “Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.”‘
On Monday, ABC News reported that Pence’s former Chief of Staff Marc Short was spotted leaving D.C. District Court on Friday, alongside his lawyer.
Sources told the network that Short testified before a grand jury, compelled by a subpoena, as part of the DOJ’s probe.
Additionally, Pence lawyer Greg Jacob also appeared before a grand jury, The Post said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland did not rule out prosecuting former President Donald Trump for his role in January 6 in a new interview airing Tuesday on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
In an interview that aired Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland did not rule out prosecuting Trump.
‘We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable,’ Garland told NBC’s Lester Holt. ‘That’s what we do.’
The DOJ probe is separate from the investigation being conducted by the January 6 House select committee – which may make criminal referrals to the Justice Department as well, the top Republican on the panel, Rep. Liz Cheney, said in an interview last month.
‘The Justice Department has been doing the most wide-ranging investigation in its history and the committee is doing an enormously wide-ranging investigation as well,’ Garland said on NBC’s Nightly News.
So far the DOJ investigation has led to charges against more than 840 individuals over their roles in the Capitol attack.
Sources told The Post that there are two legal areas where Trump could get ensnared.
Like the rioters, the DOJ could pursue charges like seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct a government proceeding.
But the Justice Department could also try to prove Trump committed fraud with the fake electors scheme or the campaign he and his allies mounted to pressure DOJ officials to say the election was fraudulent when it wasn’t.
Garland said the DOJ has been ‘moving urgently’ since the start of its investigation into the Capitol riot and surrounding events.
‘It is inevitable in this kind of investigation that there’ll be speculation about what we we are doing, who we are investigating, what our theories are – the reason there is this speculation and uncertainty is that some fundamental tenet of what we do as prosecutors and investigators is to do it outside of the public eye,’ Garland said.
He said this was done to ‘protect civil liberies’ and ‘ensure the success and the integrity’ of the investigtion.
No former president has ever been charged with a crime in the country’s history.
While former President Richard Nixon stepped down over his involvement in the Watergate break-in, President Gerald Ford, who had served as Nixon’s vice president, pardoned him.