‘No Question Now that Trump is the Target of the Federal 1/6 Probe’

“No question now that Trump is the target of the federal 1/6 probe. And correct move here: Lock people into the GJ,” Andrew Weissman wrote Monday afternoon over the news that former Trump White House attorney Eric Herschmann had been subpoenaed by a grand jury.

“The target” is doing a lot of work here, as opposed to “a target.” A target might become a witness if they cooperate and get lucky, but “the” target is the big fish.

Weissman spent 20 years at the Department of Justice, so he’s not some pundit leaning in. His words on this specific issue have huge weight.

Weissman made this calculation over the breaking exclusive from Politico that the DOJ subpoenaed former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann to a federal grand jury investigating the January 6th domestic terrorist attack.

His point is to lock people like Eric Herschmann in to the grand jury now. A grand jury does not determine guilty or innocence — but rather, a grand jury determines based on an examination of the evidence whether or not to bring criminal charges or an indictment against someone.

Because this is such a big deal, it’s good to have confirmation, which came closely after the Politico Herschmann scoop was published, with Maggie Haberman of the New York Times confirming that Herschmann was subpoenaed by a grand jury.

Herschmann might be best remembered for the intriguing backdrop of his video testimony for the 1/6 Committee hearings or the moment he told Jeffrey Clark that he was the right candidate for the Attorney General job under Donald Trump, because his first step would be to commit a felony.

“When he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said ‘(expletive), congratulations. You just admitted your first step you would take as A.G. would be committing a felony. You’re clearly the right candidate for this job,’” Herschmann testified.

The FBI earlier raided the home of Clark, likely due to his “liability under 18 USC 371, conspiracy to defraud,” as pointed out by Norm Eisen. Eisen co-authored a Brookings Institute examination that “reviews the evidence as to whether Trump as a matter of law conspired with his outside counsel John Eastman, administration lawyer Jeffrey Clark, and others to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 by scheming to block the electoral count on January 6, 2021 and to subvert the Department of Justice’s election enforcement work.”

Herschmann can also testify that Trump knew his false claims about the 2020 election were a lie. Herschmann, who represented Trump in his first impeachment, said he never saw any evidence whatsoever to sustain Trump’s allegations of Dominion voting fraud.

“I thought the Dominion stuff, I never saw any evidence whatsoever, to sustain these allegations,” Eric Herschmann is seen saying during the January 6th Committee on June 13th.

This news comes as Rudy Giuliani has been informed he is a target of the Georgia investigation, which seems to suggest he can either be a witness or a defendant at this point, depending on his cooperation.

Additionally, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was told this morning that he cannot get out of testifying in front of the Fulton County Grand Jury, not even for being a “high-ranking” official. Graham’s problems stem from his own public statements in which he cast doubt upon other witnesses’ statements. While he had and still could have legal room to wiggle about what he can be asked to testify regarding, he boxed himself in by giving the Judge proof that he indeed had “exceptional knowledge,” which overrode his claims of being shielded by the “speech or debate clause.”

Former Trump White House attorney Eric Herschmann has a lot of goods on Trump and his inner circle, including much of their attempts to overthrow a lawful election, according to the testimony he gave the 1/6 Committee, the video testimony of which was played over multiple hearings.

If Donald Trump is “the” target of the federal 1/6 probe, that is a seismic shift in our politics. Even if he isn’t indicted. Again, none of this suggests he is guilty or will be charged. It likely means, if Weissman is correct, Trump is the focus of a grand jury investigation.

If Weissman’s assessment as a twenty-year veteran of the Department of Justice are even close to true, this is an enormous step forward for the Justice Department and we are entering uncharted waters.