Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Justice Department on January 5, 2022 to address the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Justice Department on January 5, 2022 to address the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images

Justice Department Alumni Support Accountability for Jan. 6 Capitol Attack

“There is no good reason” not to include President Trump in the department’s inquiries, they wrote.

Over a thousand alumni of the Justice Department––who served under Democratic and Republican administrations––on Friday came out in support of the department’s Jan. 6 investigations and said “there is no good reason” to exclude former President Trump.

The former employees signed onto a statement, through the nonprofit Protect Democracy, supporting Attorney General Merrick Garland’s pledge to hold all of those responsible for the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol accountable. The signatories are a mix of career officials and political appointees and there is representation from the Kennedy through Biden administrations. Their first and last names, highest Justice Department title, length served and administrations are listed. 

“We watched in horror on January 6, 2021, as a group of insurrectionists stormed our Capitol. It was clear at the time that this was an attempt to subvert the will of voters in the 2020 presidential election by interfering with the constitutionally prescribed process for counting and certifying electoral votes,” said the statement. “And it has since become clear that the defeated former president, various members of his administration, and even some members of Congress, played pivotal roles in the insurrection.”

Last week, Garland gave a speech ahead of the one year anniversary of the attack in which he said, “the Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law—whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.” The Justice Department alumni said they were highly encouraged by that. While acknowledging that it takes time to go through investigations, they urged the department to move as quickly as possible. 

Additionally, “there is no good reason” to not include President Trump in their inquiries, despite the fact that some will accuse the department of politicization by considering a possible indictment of Trump, they wrote. “It is clear that a former president has no immunity from indictment for his conduct while in office and that there is a sound basis in law for the matter to proceed,” they said, citing a 2000 memo from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel. 

The attorney general did not mention in his remarks what specific actions, if any, the department is taking regarding Trump, as he did not divulge any details of the investigation. 

As of Friday afternoon, the statement had 1,112 signatories. Project Democracy said it will update the list until January 30.