“Garland is the Last, Best Chance to Uncover Trump’s Role on January 6”

David Rohde in the New Yorker:

If Garland hopes to revive Levi’s ideals, his course is apparent. A federal criminal investigation is a comparatively blunt instrument, but it is the last, best route to uncovering the truth about one of the most violent attempts to overthrow a Presidential-election result in American history. During his confirmation hearing, Garland said, of the siege, “This was the most heinous attack on the democratic processes that I’ve ever seen, and one that I never expected to see in my lifetime,” and vowed to pursue leads “wherever they take us.” The risks for the new Attorney General, though, are significant. Justice Department prosecutors could struggle to find enough evidence to prove a conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt. Stone, other Trump associates, and Trump himself have adeptly operated in legal gray areas for decades. Garland could be forced to announce that the investigation has concluded without charges being filed against them. In that event, he would likely be barred, by law, from revealing any evidence collected, because most criminal investigations are conducted in secret, via grand-jury subpoenas. Garland could also announce charges, go to trial, and fail to win convictions, a debacle that would reinforce claims from Trump that he is the victim—and the unbowed survivor—of another deep-state plot against him.

Yet facts, hopefully, remain weapons. That is why Garland should use his powers as Attorney General to exhaustively, and impartially, reconstruct the events of January 6th and the months that preceded it—to go, as prosecutors are supposed to, where the facts lead him, and then determine who deserves to be criminally charged. “You can’t make that decision without an investigation,” Gillers told me. “You follow the facts, you learn the facts, and then you make a decision.” Our increasing inability to agree on basic facts, of course, is the great challenge, and tragedy, of our time.

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