Former President Donald Trump held a rally in Houston on Saturday. After the rally, some in the media have been pushing Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate him.
Specifically, the talking heads want Garland to sue Trump for incitement of insurrection due to Trump’s speech before the Capitol riot — an investigation that, legal experts say, has little chance of success.
Garland said in a speech earlier this month that federal prosecutors had “committed to holding all Jan. 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law.”
However, Garland may even be able to prosecute Trump for incitement of insurrection.
Paul Smith, a lawyer described as liberal, Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment.
“If he was there with a bullhorn in the outside yard of the Capitol and urging people to charge the windows and break them and take Congress hostage, in that situation he would be responsible for what the crowd did,” Smith told Reuters.
Plus, Garland is leading only the federal charges, not the tax-related charges in New York City or the fraud investigation in New York state.
Right now, Trump is up against New York Attorney General Letitia James, known for her anti-Trump comments, as she leads a civil investigation against him in New York state and directs resources to a criminal investigation at the city level.
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James has a greater chance of success than Garland, according to some legal commentators. For one thing, one of Trump’s associates, Allen Weisselberg, was already prosecuted in Manhattan.
As president, Biden could pardon Trump and stop any federal charges, if he wanted to. However, he could not stop the investigations by state and local governments.
Yet, the pundits have devoted more attention to Garland than to James. In other words, the pundits on Twitter have shown their ignorance about our government.
Take a look —
Trump floated pardons(witness tampering)for Jan.6 rioters. Then incited more violence if he’s indicted. It’s time. If AG Garland cares about America’s survival, he’ll get his ducks in a row and prosecute now.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) January 30, 2022
He’s daring AG Garland to do his duty. I know Merrick Garland well enough to say: Trump’s is the dumbest strategy imaginable. https://t.co/ji3YBrbJrr
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 30, 2022
Plus, even though Letitia James has a slightly greater chance of success, New York City is still a long way from successfully charging Trump for fraud.
“Were you sloppy, lazy or overoptimistic about your prospects? If you were, that may be bad business, but it doesn’t necessarily rise to fraud,” Will Thomas, an assistant professor of business law at the University of Michigan, told The Associated Press earlier this month.
“One important question is whether any misrepresentations in the company’s financial statements “were intentional, knowing and intended to deceive,” David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, told the AP.
The Horn editorial team and The Associated Press contributed to this article.