Merrick Garland: DOJ will prosecute 'anyone' criminally responsible for 'events surrounding Jan. 6'

Attorney General Merrick Garland.
(Image credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday said the Department of Justice's Jan. 6 probe is the "most wide ranging investigation in its history," and the intent is to "hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for events surrounding Jan. 6, or any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable."

Garland made his remarks during an interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, who asked the attorney general about the possibility of indicting former President Donald Trump. "We pursue justice without fear or favor," Garland said. Holt pressed him further, asking if it would "change your schedule or how you move forward or don't move forward" if Trump runs for president in 2024.

"I'll say again, that we will hold accountable anyone who was criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate, lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next," Garland responded. He also said the "only pressure that I, my prosecutors, or the agents feel is the pressure to do the right thing. That's the only way we can pursue the rule of law. That's the only way we can keep the confidence of the American people in the rule of law, which is an essential part of our democratic system."

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Regarding the public hearings held by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Garland said they have presented "the truth of what happened ... and what a risk it meant for our democracy." He said this probe has been "enormously wide ranging," and it is "inevitable that there will be things that they find before we have found them. And it's inevitable that there will be things we find that they haven't found. That's what happens when you have two wide ranging investigations going on at the same time."

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