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How the political probe of Trump intertwines with a likely criminal one

Attorney General Merrick Garland says he's looking at more than just the Capitol riot. Julian Zelizer: He says it's not the first time he has mentioned the riot and the “transfer of power” in concert. He says the Justice Department has been doing the most wide-ranging investigation in its history. Zelizer says there are two federal investigations into what happened after the 2020 election, one political and one criminal, and the other is aimed at evaluating the viability of a case for criminal prosecution. He asks: Is what he said to Lester Holt new? It's inevitable that there will be things we find that they haven’t found, he says, but the two are operating in parallel.

Frida Ghitis: Justice Department is gathering evidence from the January 6 riot. She says the two probes seem to be operating in opposite directions. Ghitis says the House committee is starting from Trump and working out because their primary (though not sole) target is Trump. The House committee, like many in the public, would like to see formal accountability for Trump, the Justice Department would rather do its work without that sort of pressure, Ghitis writes. The two investigations are linked together in both practical and ideological ways, she says. Ghits: If Justice finds enough evidence to suggest that Trump might be convicted of a crime, Garland has a very fraught decision to make about leveling charges against a former president — and, potentially a presidential candidate. If anything,