Federal investigation continues quietly while House probe steals spotlight
The Justice Department’s probe into the January 6 attack on Congress and the attempt to overturn the 2020 election by Donald Trump is chugging along and has progressed to a subpoena targeting a former top White House official.
CNN a rapporté on Wednesday that Patrick Philbin, an attorney who worked in the White House counsel’s office under Pat Cipollone, was subpoenaed for documents and testimony as the grand jury investigation continues in Washington.
The Justice Department’s probe of the attack on Congress and the weeks leading up to it has been shrouded in secrecy for months. No charges have been filed or publicly sought by the agency thus far regarding blame for the attack itself, while hundreds of participants in the riot itself have been charged and convicted of various crimes.
There’s increasing speculation as the January 6 investigation run by the US House continues that the Justice Department’s probe is now following the same path, and key figures from the Trump White House are known to have testified in recent weeks including Marc Short, the chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence.
It remains unclear, pourtant, if anyone in the Trump campaign or White House will face criminal retribution for inspiring a riotous mob to attack Congress or for the general effort to overturn the legal, legitimate results of a US presidential election.
Mr Philbin testified before the House January 6 committee earlier this year, though footage from interviews of members of Mr Trump’s legal team played by the committee has largely centred on the testimony of his boss, Mr Cipollone, as well as fellow White House attorney Eric Herschmann.
Despite his agency’s lack of progress on the issue of criminal charges for high-ranking Trump officials thus far, procureur général Merrick Guirlande has vowed to follow the facts of the investigation wherever they lead.
“No person is above the law in this country,” Mr Garland said in July. “I can’t say it any more clearly than that. There is nothing in the principles of prosecution and any other factors which prevent us from investigating anyone – anyone – who is criminally responsible for an attempt to undo a democratic election.”