The U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into the attempt to overturn the 2src2src election results has been expanded to include former President Donald Trump’s actions, according to The Washington Post.
The newspaper, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter, reported that witnesses appearing before a grand jury in recent days have been grilled about “conversations with Trump, his lawyers, and others in his inner circle.”
The Post reports that the federal prosecutors have asked “detailed questions” about meetings Trump led, pressure he put on his vice president, Mike Pence, to block the certification of the vote, and any involvement by Trump in a scheme to line up “fake” electors backing him.
The New York Times additionally confirmed the reporting of the Post.
The Department of Justice declined to comment on the Post’s report when contacted by The Daily Beast.
One of Trump’s lawyers, Alan Futerfas, declined to comment when reached by phone by The Daily Beast late Tuesday evening. Another source close to Trump told The Daily Beast that they could not confirm DOJ was now looking at Trump but had heard “rumors about it for a couple weeks.”
Among the most recent witnesses to appear before the grand jury are former Pence aides Marc Short and Greg Jacob, the Post reported. Both men—who also appeared before the House’s Jan. 6 committee to discuss Trump’s attempts to pressure their boss—declined to comment.
Short is the highest-ranked official so far to cooperate with the investigation.
The DOJ’s expanded focus apparently predates the House hearings, with the feds obtaining the phone records of Trump administration officials including Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows back in April, the Post reported.
The House cannot criminally charge anyone, but the Justice Department has also never brought charges against a former president.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has come under criticism from some quarters that he is not being aggressive enough. But speaking with NBC News on Tuesday night, Garland warned he would hold accountable anyone “criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another.”
“We pursue justice without fear or favor. We don’t pay any attention to other issues.”
He said if Trump was to become president again, we will hold accountable any one who is criminally responsible.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) praised Garland on Tuesday night for acknowledging “a broader investigation into the plot to stop the peaceful transfer of power.”
“I would hope that if the department is truly following the evidence where it leads, it will recognize it has been leading to Donald Trump,” he said on MSNBC.
The news comes just hours after Trump returned to Washington to deliver his first speech in D.C. since leaving office.
“We’ve become a beggar nation groveling to other countries for energy, millions of illegal aliens are stampeding across our wide open borders, pouring into our country, it’s an invasion,” he claimed.
“Our country is being dealt one historic humiliation after the other on the world stage.”
On Tuesday evening, as the news of the investigation broke from the Post, Trump didn’t respond on the matter in a statement or on his social media site, Truth Social. Instead, he was busy posting clips of his speech earlier in the day.
Sources within the former president’s orbit who have spoken with The Daily Beast say that over the last week, he has become increasingly frustrated with the House Jan. 6 committee.
Trump frequently rails against the “one-sided forum” and the “kangaroo court” to anyone who will lend an ear, a source said. “There’s no courtroom in this country where that would be allowed,” that same source close to Trump added.