Attorney General Merrick Garland said former President Trump’s potential candidacy for the 2024 presidential election will not affect the Justice Department’s (DOJ) work holding those responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection accountable.
Garland said in an interview with NBC News’s Lester Holt, which will air Tuesday on “NBC Nightly News,” that the DOJ pursues justice “without fear or favor” and does not pay attention to “other issues.”
“We intend to hold everyone, anyone, who is criminally responsible for the events surrounding Jan. 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another accountable,” he said. “That’s what we do.”
Garland’s comments come as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack pauses its public hearings before resuming them in September. Committee members have said they may issue a criminal referral for Trump to the DOJ at the conclusion of their investigation.
Trump has not yet announced whether he will seek the presidency again in 2024, but has repeatedly hinted at making a third run for the office and told New York Magazine earlier this month that he has decided on whether he will run. He said the “big decision” is whether he will announce his decision before or after the upcoming midterm elections in November.