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New Jan. 6 Revelations Prompt Questions of Legal Hurdles for Trump

Understanding what federal crimes might be brought and tried against him

The revelation late Tuesday that the Justice Department's investigation into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, now includes questions about the actions of former President Donald Trump and his allies has heightened speculation as to whether the former president could face legal trouble for his conduct related to the assault. And as federal prosecutors all the way up to Attorney General Merrick Garland are facing growing external pressure to prosecute Trump, the crucial question remains as to what federal crimes might be successfully brought and tried against the former president. 

As part of its probe, the Justice Department has been examining a scheme to name fake slates of presidential electors for Trump in key battleground states he lost in the 2020 presidential election. The Justice Department has also been examining  the actions surrounding the Jan. 6 attack, when a mob of the former president's supporters, many of them armed, breached the Capitol building to stop Congress from tallying state electoral votes and reaffirming President Joe Biden's victory.

Former Trump White House aides, including Marc Short, who served as chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, have testified before a federal grand jury investigating the attack, and U.S. law enforcement agents have targeted former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and conservative attorney John Eastman as part of the probe.  

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