WASHINGTON (TND) — The U.S. Justice Department has taken the most aggressive public steps yet connected to the Jan. 6 investigation by calling two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence to testify in front of a federal grand jury.
The Washington Post confirms that “the Justice Department is investigating President Donald Trump’s actions as part of its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.”
The revelation raises questions about how a potential Trump presidential bid will influence the Justice Department’s decision on charges for the former commander-in-chief. Attorney General Merrick Garland told NBC’s Lester Holt that it won’t.
“We pursue justice without fear or favor,” Garland said. “We will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”
The congressional Jan. 6 committee is continuing to present evidence trying to directly connect Trump to the violence at the Capitol and the Republicans who aligned with him. But for some members of the GOP, the anti-Trump stance is taking a toll at the ballot box.
A new poll shows half of Americans — but only 10% of Republicans and 37 % of independents — approve of the House committee’s handling of the Jan. 6 investigation.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who is leading the charge against Trump, is on track to lose her House seat to pro-Trump primary challenger Harriet Hageman.
“It isn't for Liz Cheney to determine that — without any defense whatsoever — that Donald Trump is guilty,” Hageman told Newsmax. “We did not send her to Washington, D.C. to be the judge and jury against Donald Trump.”
In South Carolina, five-time incumbent Tom Rice lost his primary after voting to impeach Trump after Jan. 6. Michigan Republican Peter Meijer faces a similar fate, locked in a tough primary with former Trump official John Gibbs.
Meijer maintains he does not regret the vote.
“I think it was possibly the biggest career-ending move in history,” Gibbs said to CNN.
But the primaries are only half the battle. Pro-Trump Republicans are aiming to prove Trump’s foes wrong, saying that bucking the former president will not be the key to victory in the midterms.