Posted on June 8, 2021 (June 15, 2021) Challenging Corruption Share: The petitioners demand Attorney General Merrick Garland “investigate any potential federal criminal or civil violations that may have been committed by Trump, members of his administration, or his campaign, business, or other associates.” WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amidst the controversy of the Biden Justice Department’s decision to defend former President Donald Trump against a defamation lawsuit brought by one of Trump’s alleged rape victims, more than two hundred thousand people have joined a growing coalition call to Investigate Trump, urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to create an independent task force within the US Department of Justice to investigate the former president, members of his administration, or his campaign, business, or other associates, for any potential federal criminal or civil violations they may have committed. “Restoring the rule of law begins with restoring the Department of Justice and neither of those can be accomplished without holding Donald Trump and his accomplices accountable. To reestablish the bedrock principle that we are a nation of laws and that no one – not even the president – is above the law, it is essential that Attorney General Merrick Garland assign a task force to investigate and, where the evidence requires, prosecute, those who violated their oaths of office and violated our nation’s laws,” said Ben Clements, Board Chair and Senior Legal Advisor of Free Speech For People. “Hundreds of thousands of people are demanding accountability,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Campaign Director at Free Speech For People. “Being a former President isn’t a blanket get-out-of-jail-free card. It’s imperative that the Department of Justice investigate Trump and his associates for alleged crimes. That’s the only way to ensure that Donald Trump is held accountable” For at least the past five years, Donald Trump, and his aides and associates, have engaged in unethical, unconstitutional, and allegedly criminal activity, culminating with the seditious insurrection on the United States Capitol on January 6th, incited and encouraged by Trump and his allies. A coalition of public interest organizations is driving the call to hold the forty-fifth president accountable for a number of potential crimes. They include offenses related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election; offenses related to misuse of the presidency and high office for personal profit, including bribery or extortion; offenses related to the Trump Organization, including tax fraud, bank fraud, or insurance fraud; and other potential crimes. In a February letter addressed to then Attorney General-designate Garland, the coalition states: “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. 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.” There is sufficient basis to investigate other potential abuses of presidential power. For example, this independent Department of Justice task force could also investigate the circumstances and validity of self-serving presidential pardons, including whether pardons were granted as part of a bribery, extortion, or conspiracy scheme. Furthermore, the investigation may need to consider whether former President Trump sought to issue “secret pardons” to his family members, co-conspirators, or even himself, and determine the appropriate means for establishing the constitutional invalidity of such corrupt pardon attempts. Hold Trump Accountable is a non-partisan campaign led by Free Speech For People dedicated to defending the U.S. Constitution and holding former president Trump accountable for any potential crimes he may have committed. Coalition partners include: Action Group Network, Avaaz, Blue Wave Postcard Movement, Brave New Films, Demand Progress, Equal Justice Society, For All, Government Accountability Project, MoveOn Civic Action, Progressive Leadership Initiative, Progressives for Democracy in America, Revolving Door Project, and True North Research. To join our campaign, add your name to this petition. Free Speech For People is a national non-partisan non-profit organization founded on the day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC that works to defend our democracy and our Constitution.