Even as many Americans express concerns that the federal government has become corrupted by political bias, former President Donald Trump announced this week that he has been invited to appear before a grand jury as part of the Department of Justice’s probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, protest on Capitol Hill.
Based on Trump’s assertion about the so-called “target letter” he received earlier this week from Special Counsel Jack Smith, many legal experts believe that he will soon be indicted in connection with the incident.
“Once a person is the target of a federal grand jury investigation, they will be indicted,” said former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino. “I can think of, in 20 years as a federal prosecutor, I can think of no cases where a target was not ultimately indicted.”
This would be the third indictment Trump has faced since announcing his bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, sparking widespread concern that the current administration is orchestrating an effort to prosecute President Joe Biden’s likely rival in next year’s election.
“President Trump just increased his lead in the polls. So what does the Biden Administration do next?” asked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in response to the development. “Weaponize government to go after President Biden’s number one opponent. This is not equal justice. It’s wrong, and the American public is tired of it.”
When White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the news, however, she attempted to portray it as evidence that the Justice Department is acting in an independent and impartial manner.
“The president respects the Department of Justice, their independence,” she claimed. “He has been very, very steadfast on making sure that the rule of law comes back in this administration, comes back in the White House, and clearly the administration more broadly, and that’s what you have seen.”
Beyond that statement, Jean-Pierre concluded: “I’m just not going to comment on this particular case.”
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE on accusations Biden has weaponized the federal government against political opponents:
"The president respects the Department of Justice, their independence. He has been very steadfast on making sure that the rule of law comes back in this administration." pic.twitter.com/ql4gHnJIHo
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 18, 2023
Others are eager to address what Trump called a “witch hunt” and “total political weaponization of law enforcement,” though.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), for example, indicated that he would introduce a bill to “defund the Jack Smith investigation,” insisting that the Justice Department has not been transparent regarding fundamental questions including the investigators working on Smith’s team.
“They are attacking our democracy and engaging in election interference right now,” he concluded.