In a letter addressed to the AG-designate Merrick Garland, the coalition asks for a DOJ task force to investigate “any potential federal criminal or civil violations” committed by the president, members of his administration, his campaign, business, or others.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 7, 2021) – A coalition of public interest organizations released a letter today to Judge Merrick Garland, President-Elect Biden’s designated choice for Attorney General. The letter urges the AG-designate to create  an independent task force in the Department of Justice to investigate “any potential federal criminal or civil violations that may have been committed by President Trump, members of his administration, or his campaign, business, or other associates.”

The coalition names several potential offenses, including President Trump’s recorded phone call pressuring Georgia’s Secretary of State to “find 11,780 votes” and Trump’s speech inciting an angry mob which then marched toward Capitol Hill and engaged in a violent seditious attack on the United States Capitol.   

Other offenses named in the letter involve the 2016 election and the Mueller investigation that were not prosecuted during the Trump presidency because of Department of Justice policy; misuse of the office of the presidency for personal profit, including bribery and extortion; tax fraud, bank fraud, and insurance fraud committed by the Trump Organization; the practice of family separation and detention of children along the U.S.-Mexico border; and attempts to sabotage the 2020 presidential election.

“For at least the past five years, Donald Trump, and his aides and associates, have engaged in a flurry of unethical, unconstitutional, and often criminal activity, culminating yesterday with the seditious insurrection on the United States Capitol incited and encouraged by the President and his allies,” the letter says. “If we are to begin the process of restoring the integrity of the Department of Justice and the rule of law to our nation, it is essential that the Department thoroughly investigate these actions and, where warranted and appropriate, hold accountable those who have violated the nation’s laws.”   

“Setting aside the merits of the Department policy prohibiting prosecution of sitting presidents, neither a president nor his officials are above the law, and the policy has no application beyond a president’s term,” the letter continues. “To the contrary, our constitutional system, under which no one, especially the president, is above the law, permits and obligates the Department of Justice to enforce the law, where appropriate, against former presidents.” The signers of the letter, led by Free Speech For People, include Action Group Network, Brave New Films, Demand Progress, Equal Justice Society, For All, Government Accountability Project, Progressive Leadership Initiative, Progressives for Democracy in America, Revolving Door Project, and True North Research. 


Read the full letter here

Read the press release here.