House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) shared concerns about “carryovers” from the Trump administration in the Justice Department.
The congressman talked about what he is hearing from voters in several states during a CNN interview Monday that turned to whether former President Donald Trump will be prosecuted.
“I’m not going to zero in on the prosecution of Donald Trump. I do have some concerns about what seems to be some reticence coming from the department as to how to ratchet up these investigations,” Clyburn told anchor John Berman.
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The Democrat was referring to anxiety about whether the Justice Department, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, will pursue charges against Trump in connection to the Capitol riot and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. The Justice Department is already in the midst of hundreds of prosecutions of the rioters themselves.
“You know, I just came out of a primary election here in South Carolina,” he added. “I got elected — renominated last week. And I’m talking to voters. I’ve been in Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Michigan, all in the last 30 days, and I’m telling you, people are concerned that the Department of Justice may have too many carryovers from the last administration and [is] not moving in order to do what’s needed to protect this democracy.”
Clyburn did not mention any specific officials within the Justice Department.
Garland said last week that he and federal prosecutors are keeping tabs on the summer hearings held by the Jan. 6 committee. “I will be sure that I am watching all of it. And I can assure you that the January 6 prosecutors are watching all of the hearings as well,” Garland said.
There is some confusion about where the Jan. 6 panel stands with regard to putting pressure on the Justice Department by making a criminal referral. After Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) reportedly ruled it out, other members insisted that a final decision has yet to be made.
Clyburn, who is not a member of the committee, acknowledged that he counts himself among those worried about the Justice Department being reticent.
“Yes, I am,” he said. “There’s no question about that. I’ve talked to my constituents, and I get a lot of my marching orders from them. They’re concerned — so am I.”