DOJ’s Expanded Probe of Jan. 6 Unrest to Cover Event Planning

DOJ's Expanded Probe of Jan. 6 Unrest to Cover Event Planning a protester holds up a sign that reads stop the steal in front of the capitol building (Graeme Sloan/AP)

By Jay Clemons | Wednesday, 30 March 2022 10:49 PM

The Department of Justice plans to expand its investigation of the Capitol unrest from Jan. 6, 2021, including events leading up to former President Donald Trump's Stop the Steal rally, according to The Washington Post.

In addition to the incidents at the Capitol, both inside and outside the building, the Post reported the DOJ will delve deeper into that day's so-called conspiracy theories and rally preparations, while also focusing on event speakers, including Trump.

The reported decision comes on the heels of the Jan. 6 Select Committee criticizing the Justice Department last week, implying the DOJ might have been stalling with its respective probes of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, along with former Trump aides Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino.

Earlier Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters a House floor vote on contempt of Congress charges against Navarro and Scavino would come next week.

The partisan Jan. 6 panel is made up of seven Democrats and just two Republicans; and both GOP members — Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. — have been outspoken Trump critics.

In mid-December, the Democrat-controlled House levied contempt of Congress charges against Meadows, claiming he failed to cooperate with the Jan. 6 panel.

The DOJ has already indicted former Trump adviser Steve Bannon on a contempt charge. A federal judge ruled that trial will begin July 18.

Back in January, Time magazine reported more than 700 people had been arrested for various roles in the Jan. 6 Capitol incident.

Before Wednesday's report in the Post, Jan. 6 Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., encouraged the DOJ to assist the panel in any way.

"We're not a criminal body — we are just looking for the facts and circumstances around Jan. 6, but in the course of that review, there are some very troubling things that we've come upon that we think if [the DOJ] would take a look at it, there would be something there," Thompson said, according to the Post.