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Trump likely to be criminally charged in DOJ election probe along with other former White House officials, Obama AG Holder says

  • August 05, 2022

The other grand jury is investigating events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, when a mob of Trump supporters interrupted for hours the confirmation of Biden’s Electoral College win by Congress.

Pat Cipollone, who served as Trump’s White House counsel, has been subpoenaed to appear before one of those grand juries, multiple news outlets reported Wednesday.

For weeks after the November 2020 popular election, Trump falsely claimed that he defeated Biden and argued his Democratic opponent’s Electoral College victory was based on widespread ballot fraud in several swing states.

The former president since leaving the White House has continued to dispute the 2020 election results and has said that the investigations into his conduct and that of his allies are politically motivated witch hunts.

Holder in his interview said the pace of the Justice Department investigation into election meddling is likely to proceed in the same way that a character in the Ernest Hemingway novel “The Sun Also Rises” answered when another character asked how he went bankrupt: “Gradually, then suddenly.”

“I expect you’re going to see the pace of this investigation or these investigations pick up,” Holder told Madison.

But Holder also said that he expected the Justice Department to “go dark” and not take public action in the case until after this fall’s midterm elections.

The department in a long-standing practice in the months leading up to elections does not tend to file criminal charges or issue statements that might influence the outcome of elections.

“You watch the Justice Department in 2023,” Holder said.

“But I think before that, I expect something coming of that prosecutor in Atlanta,” he added.

That Georgia prosecutor, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, is presenting evidence and testimony to a special grand jury empaneled to investigate possible criminal meddling in her state’s election by Trump and his surrogates.

That grand jury has issued subpoenas to a number of fake Trump electors, as well to the former president’s lawyers and to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

“I think in terms of time, that is the more advanced” investigation, Holder said Thursday.

“The case is in some ways less complicated,” he said, noting that Trump is known to have phoned Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, on Jan. 2, 2021, and pressured Raffensperger to help find enough votes to overcome Biden’s margin of victory there.

“You have the former president on tape saying, ‘Find me 11,780 votes,'” Holder said.

“Now people argue: ‘What was his intent?'” Holder said, referring to questions about whether Trump had criminal intent in asking such a question.

“Really?” Holder said sarcastically. “Put that before a jury … Regular people, looking at the evidence, I think, will get to what I think is an appropriate conclusion.”

“So my eyes are on Fulton County first. Look at the Justice Department in 2023,” Holder said.

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