Republicans have issued a warning to Democrat President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland about prosecuting President Donald Trump.
The Manhattan district attorney’s case against Trump recently fell apart, with the lead prosecutors resigning because the new DA thought the case was too weak.
In Atlanta, where Trump is the most vulnerable because of the call he made to Brad Raffensburger, a grand jury won’t even be seated until May, if it even makes it that far.
The Democrats’ last hope of trying to charge Trump criminally rests with the Justice Department.
However, Republicans in Congress are warning the feds not to go after Trump because it would be too political.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said a criminal referral from the House investigation “would probably have as much political taint on it as you can get.”
“To me it’s clearly politically driven,” he said.
“At least half the country would say it’s all politically motivated.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said “the Department of Justice has a high bar” to clear before opening an investigation of Trump.
“I don’t mind looking into the events but I think that Speaker Pelosi did not do the process justice by the way the members were ultimately seated,” Tillis said.
“It’s going to be perceived as political.
“Everybody is going to perceive the referral as a conviction on one side and they’re going to view it as the continuation of a witch hunt on the other side.
“The bar that the House committee has is far lower than anything that would ultimately result in moving forward with a federal investigation and a conviction.”
“I think it could backfire in a way that they have no clue,” said Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin.
“I think it’s going to backfire because it’s just so political and it’s tainted.”
“The country wants to move on,” he continued.
“Nobody is proud of what happened on Jan. 6 but people are like, ‘With all the problems we have going on in the country right now, this is going to be the focus of the Democrats?’”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said simply: “I don’t see anything coming out of this committee not tainted by politics.”
Albert Alschuler, a professor emeritus of law and criminology at the University of Chicago Law School, said he doesn’t think Garland wants anything to do with the case.
“It looks like a quite strong case for criminal prosecution, particularly conspiracy to defraud the United States and maybe obstruction of official proceedings charge.
“I see a lot of comment and some people seem to be saying, ‘Well, it’s so hard because they have to prove that the defendant really was lying by projecting all these false claims, you have to prove that he actually did not believe them himself.’
“But it seems to me the evidence is pretty strong.
“Juries infer intent from the circumstances all the time, and they infer a criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Garland has said he will follow the evidence wherever it leads.
“If an overwhelming case is presented he may prosecute but I think he would probably prefer not to.
“That’s just a guess,” he said.
“Even if it’s a very strong case, I think they’re worried about the fact that we’re talking about prosecuting somebody who has millions and millions of devoted, passionate followers who would see this as a political prosecution.”
However, former Attorney General Bill Barr said while he thinks Trump bears responsibility for Jan. 6, his actions did not rise to the level of criminality.
Former Attorney General William Barr said he believes former President Donald Trump is morally responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol but isn’t legally culpable.
Asked by NBC News’ Lester Holt whether he considered Trump “responsible” for the violence at the Capitol, Barr said: “I do think he was responsible in the broad sense of that word, in that it appears that part of the plan was to send this group up to the Hill. I think the whole idea was to intimidate Congress. And I think that that was wrong.”
But, he added, he hasn’t seen evidence that Trump committed an actual crime. “I haven’t seen anything to say he was legally responsible for it in terms of incitement,” Barr said.