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Progressives urge Biden pick for attorney general to prosecute Trump

A prominent progressive group on Saturday called on the Biden administration’s Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE, just moments after Trump's acquittal in his impeachment trial.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) responded to the Senate trial verdict by circulating a petition to its nearly one million members calling on Biden’s nominee for attorney general, Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandOvernight Defense: Biden officially rolls out Afghanistan withdrawal plan | Probe finds issues with DC Guard helicopter use during June protests Duckworth asks DOJ to probe 'brazenly violent' police treatment of National Guard officer Biden's court-packing theater could tame the Supreme Court's conservatives MORE, to investigate and prosecute Trump and his associates.

“If we want accountability for Trump and his criminal network, we cannot just depend on Democratic leaders,” their statement read. “We need to push them. A lot.”

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The outcome of Trump's Senate trial has no legal bearing on his potential criminal liability over his role in the deadly Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, though his acquittal may intensify pressure on the Biden administration to pursue criminal charges.

At the same, Biden is likely to face calls to turn the page on the Trump era and sidestep the political baggage that would accompany a criminal probe and possible prosecution of a former president.

Biden said multiple times during the 2020 presidential campaign that it would fall to his attorney general to decide whether to prosecute Trump. Garland, his nominee, has not given any indication as to the likelihood of Trump being prosecuted once he takes over at the Department of Justice (DOJ) following his likely confirmation in coming weeks.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcCarthy and Biden haven't spoken since election Democrats roll out legislation to expand Supreme Court Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study MORE (R-Ky.), who voted to acquit Trump on Saturday, made an apparent allusion to possible criminal repercussions that Trump could still confront.

"President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he’s in office,” McConnell said during a speech on the Senate floor following Trump’s acquittal. “He didn’t get away with anything yet."

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Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuLawmakers want Biden to pressure Saudi Arabia to end Yemen blockade Marjorie Taylor Greene offers bills to fire Fauci, ban vaccine passports Gaetz, on the ropes, finds few friends in GOP MORE (D-Calif.), one of the House impeachment managers, seized on McConnell’s apparent reference to the potential for Trump to face criminal charges.

“My interpretation of McConnell speech: President Trump should be in prison,” Lieu tweeted.

Separately from a possible federal probe, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has not ruled out pursuing a criminal case against Trump for potentially violating D.C. laws prohibiting incitement.