The New York Times reported over the weekend some of President Joe Biden’s private conversations. He has told people close to the White House that he believes former President Donald Trump should be prosecuted for his actions on the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Biden has also described Trump as a present “threat to democracy,” according to two people who had knowledge of this private conversation with the president.
The New York Times indicated that their report was based on interviews with more than a dozen people including officials in the Biden administration as well as people who have knowledge of the way the president is thinking. All those interviewees said that they did not want their names in the article, according to The Times.
The president is growing more and more frustrated with his Attorney General Merrick Garland. He is leading the investigation on the Capitol insurrection. Biden has apparently described Garland as a “ponderous judge” and he has said that he wants the AG to take more “decisive action on the investigation.
But The Times also noted that President Biden has not yet talked to Garland about his frustrations over January 6th.
Biden is not the only one frustrated with the attorney general’s office. Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia said last week that the Department of Justice must “move swiftly” and she said that Garland should do his job so that she and her colleagues could do their job. Luria is on the House panel investigating the insurrection case.
Merrick Garland told reporters on Friday that his prosecutors felt an urgency to “do the right thing,” and they are going to follow “the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”
Biden’s administration is still trying to put a good spin on the attorney general’s leadership. Andrew Bates, a White House spokesperson said in a statement to The Times that Biden believes Garland has “decisively restored” a significant level of independence back to the Justice Department. This was a shot at the Trump administration’s alleged influent on the department in the past.
Bates said, “President Biden is immensely proud of the attorney general’s service in this administration and has no role in investigative priorities or decisions.”
Biden gave a tongue lashing to Trump on the first anniversary of the January 6th riot at the Capitol. The president pledged to “defend the nation” against anyone who would attempt to hold the federal government “under siege.”
“Those who stormed this Capitol and those who instigated and incited and those who called on them to do so held a dagger at the throat of America, at American democracy,” Biden declared during a speech at the National Statuary Hall.
The investigation by the Justice Department has already led to almost 800 arrests and almost 300 individuals have been charged with obstructing the certification of the presidential election results. They have also expanded their investigation to include looking into the organization of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally that happened immediately prior to the riot at the Capitol.
The House committee said a month ago in a court filing that they thought Trump had broken several laws in trying to overturn the 2020 election results. But the filing was not an indictment and there were no charges against the former president.
Trump has attempted to block the investigation by saying that he and his allies were protected by executive privilege. This has been rejected by the Biden White House.
No one in the White House will answer questions about whether or not they know who the people were that leaked the private information about Biden’s thoughts on Garland to The New York Times.