Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) on Tuesday took aim at Attorney General Merrick Garland, critiquing the Justice Department’s handling of cases related to Jan. 6 insurrectionists.
“I think Merrick Garland has been extremely weak, and I think there should be a lot more of the organizers of January 6 that should be arrested by now,” the member of Congress said on CNN.
Gallego also said that the attempt to subvert the 2020 election remained ongoing today, through Republican attacks on election administration.
“I don’t think the attack you’re going to see in the future is going to be by a bunch of angry fat men trying to get into Congress,” he said. “I think the actual attack is going to happen in the legislatures, in the county recorder’s office, in the board of elections. There’s an ongoing slow coup by a bunch of Brooks Brothers-dressed politicians that are going to try to basically change who counts the votes for the elections coming up in 2022 and 2024.”
Gallego was then asked whether a plan to overturn the election results concocted by former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, aided by Steve Bannon and championed by Trump, amounted to a criminal conspiracy. The scheme imagined a 24-hour GOP propaganda blitz to pressure Pence to block the counting of votes from six battleground states on the day of the joint session of Congress.
Gallego said he agreed with that notion to a “certain degree,” adding that some former Trump officials committed criminal acts by interference with Congress.
“This is why we should have an active attorney general that can separate those that were doing political work from actual work helping the insurrection and/or the coup plotters,” Gallego said.
“The problem that we have now is that we have a very obstructionist Republican Party that should be part of helping us decide how to save democracy, instead of trying to cover up for their crimes,” Gallego continued. “And you have, again, an attorney general who is feckless and has not been helpful in terms of preserving our democracy.”
Although more than 700 people have been arrested in connection to the deadly Capitol insurrection last year, only 30 have been sentenced to prison, according to Politico. Hundreds of cases are still pending amid ongoing investigations. Many of those who pushed the Big Lie that inspired the riot have so far avoided accountability.
The Jan. 6 committee, in recent weeks, has turned its focus to President Trump, his allies and the organizers of the rallies the preceded the insurrection. The committee is set to hold dramatic presentations during public hearings this year as it works to deliver an interim report on the events surrounding the deadly Capitol insurrection by summer.
Watch Gallego’s remarks below: