Attorney general demands halt to criticism of Biden Justice Department

By Bob Unruh

(Photo by David Trinks on Unsplash)

Merrick Garland, as attorney general the nation’s chief law enforcer, is demanding a halt to the opposition to, and criticism of, the political investigations that his department has launched, including those against President Donald Trump.

The DOJ is involved in multiple cases against Trump, including one over Trump’s possession of presidential papers, even though the same DOJ declined to file charges against Joe Biden, who was found by a special counsel to have kept, without authorization, classified documents from the Barack Obama administration.

Garland, writing in the Washington Post, explained, a California man was convicted of threatening to bomb an FBI office.

Garland claimed that’s routine “in an environment in which the Justice Department is under attack like never before.” Recent “attacks” have been beyond “criticism” and “oversight” and are “baseless, personal and dangerous.”

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Then he cited his real worry: “These attacks come in the form of threats to defund particular department investigations, most recently the special counsel’s prosecution of the former president.”

Which drew a comment in a report at The Federalist, “It’s strange and unsettling for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States to write such a thing. Whatever the merits of his argument, it doesn’t come off as an argument. It comes off as a threat.”

Joe Biden looks on as Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks during a Medal of Valor ceremony, Monday, May 16, 2022, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)
Joe Biden looks on as Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks during a Medal of Valor ceremony, Monday, May 16, 2022, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

Garland then posted a long list of complaints and concerns for which he has no tolerance:

“They come in the form of conspiracy theories crafted and spread for the purpose of undermining public trust in the judicial process itself. Those include false claims that a case brought by a local district attorney and resolved by a jury verdict in a state trial was somehow controlled by the Justice Department.

“They come in the form of dangerous falsehoods about the FBI’s law enforcement operations that increase the risks faced by our agents.

“They come in the form of efforts to bully and intimidate our career public servants by repeatedly and publicly singling them out.

“They come in the form of false claims that the department is politicizing its work to somehow influence the outcome of an election. Such claims are often made by those who are themselves attempting to politicize the department’s work to influence the outcome of an election.”

But renowned columnist Cal Thomas recalled in a Times Free Press column, that U.S. Attorney General Robert H. Jackson delivered a warning in 1940 that many today would see as ignored.

Jackson said, “If a prosecutor can choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power of the prosecutor, that he will pick people that he thinks he should get rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted. With the law books filled with a great assortment of crime a prosecutor stands a chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him.”

That could be seen as a summary of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s recent case against Trump, now on appeal and challenged even further by an allegation of juror misconduct. In fact, Bragg campaigned for office on the idea of “getting” President Trump.

In that case, Bragg took business reporting misdemeanors for which the statute of limitations had expired and claimed they were felonies because of some unidentified other crime, on which the jurors were told they didn’t have to agree.

He was aided by a lawyer who left an influential position at the DOJ in order to join a local prosecutor’s office to prosecute Trump, revealing Garland’s influence.

Thomas noted Jackson continued, “It is in this realm — in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. … It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political views, or being personally obnoxious to or in the way of the prosecutor himself.”

Multiple commentators have opined that none of the cases against Trump, federal or local, would have developed had the defendant had a name other than Trump.

Garland claimed it is “dangerous” that public servants “are being threatened for simply doing their jobs and adhering to the principals that have long guided the Justice Department’s work.

Of course, it was the same Justice Department that declined to charge Hillary Clinton for essentially the same thing as Bragg alleged against Trump, as her campaign funded the creation of the debunked “Steele dossier” during the 2016 election, and labeled it legal expenses.

Garland, in fact, claimed his department “makes decisions about criminal investigations based only on the facts and the law. We do not investigate people because of their last name, their political affiliation, the size of their bank account, where they come from or what they look like.”

The Federalist explained, “So for Garland, a bomb threat is apparently the same as threats by lawmakers to defund the obviously corrupt investigation of former President Donald Trump by DOJ special counsel Jack Smith.”

And it pointed out Garland’s complaint about “conspiracy theories” is misapplied: “Just ask the entire corporate media that spent years spreading outlandish conspiracy theories about how Trump was a Russian agent.”

It warned, “Many Americans now sincerely believe (with good reason) that in light of the ongoing lawfare against Trump, the judicial process itself is indeed compromised and undeserving of public trust. If these Americans are spreading what Garland thinks are ‘conspiracy theories’ for the purpose of persuading their countrymen that the Justice Department is untrustworthy, that is their right as Americans.”

Garland’s decision to liken bomb threats to “disagreeing with Merrick Garland” shouldn’t be a surprise.

“We should expect nothing less from the attorney general who smeared concerned parents who speak out at school board meetings as ‘domestic terrorists.,” the report said.

But, it warned, “What Garland alludes to is bone-chilling, because he’s saying that ‘unfounded’ criticism of a weaponized and politicized Justice Department is the equivalent of a bomb threat.”

It said, “The real danger here is an attorney general who thinks he’s above criticism, and who feels comfortable issuing public threats that we’d better cut it out—or else.”

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