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Archive for July 13th, 2022

Former Mueller Prosecutor Criticizes DOJ for Its ‘Wrong Approach’ to Insurrection Investigation

Andrew Weissmann. Photo: Columbia Law

By Steve Neavling

Andrew Weissmann, a top prosecutor in Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, said the Justice Department is taking “the wrong approach” to investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Weissmann said federal prosecutors are too focused on the rioters and not enough on former President Trump and others who played a role in inciting the violence. 

He said the House committee investigating the Capitol siege has provided sufficient evidence “to inspire the Justice Department to rethink its approach.”

“A myopic focus on the Jan. 6 riot is not the way to proceed if you are trying to follow the facts where they lead and to hold people ‘at any level’ criminally accountable, as Attorney General Merrick Garland promised,” Weissman wrote. 

“The evidence gathered in the hearings describes a multiprong conspiracy — what prosecutors term a hub and spoke conspiracy — in which the Ellipse speech by President Trump and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol were just one ‘spoke’ of a grander scheme.”

Weissman further explained that “what I have seen in this inquiry is not typical behavior from the Justice Department.”

Pointing to media reports about the Justice Department’s reaction to Cassidy Hutchinson’s explosive testimony, Weissmann said he was skeptical the DOJ is pursuing “a robust investigation into the facts.”

Steven Dettelbach Is ATF’s First Permanent Leader Since 2015

Former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

The ATF finally has a Senate-confirmed leader. 

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly approved Steven Dettelbach to be the director of the ATF, making him the agency’s first permeant leader since 2015. 

Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney from Ohio, was confirmed 48-46.

Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Rob Portman Ohio joined every Democrat in voting for Dettelbach. 

Dettelbach, 57, has advocated for reinstating the assault weapons ban and universal background checks on firearms purchases.

After running an unsuccessful campaign to serve as attorney general in Ohio in 2018, he worked in the private sector for BakerHostetler.

Dettelbach is President Biden’s second choice to lead the ATF. Biden’s first pick, David Chipman, couldn’t get enough votes in the Senate for confirmation last year.