AG Garland is too passive

Attorney General Merrick Garland needs to get around to doing something about people who plot the overthrow of our government and a former president who’s serially obstructed justice and abused power. More than enough evidence to bring charges against Trump and his former cabinet members.

President Joe Biden may get everything else right but if his administration-starting with the Department of Justice-gets wrong its response to the threats to our democracy posed by Trump and the GOP, nothing else they do may matter.

Garland has, on more than one occasion, already taken steps that have actually empowered or emboldened those who currently pose a threat to our system. A particularly egregious example of this was Garland’s decision to take the side of Trump by arguing that the former president was acting in his official capacity when he lied and defamed journalist E. Jean Carroll following her accusation that Trump had raped her long before he was elected president.

Daily Beast

We also have not heard a peep out of them in terms of prosecuting the dozen instances of clear obstruction of justice that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report cited against Trump. We have seen that Garland is letting the highly politicized investigation of special prosecutor John Durham into the conduct of the Trump-Russia investigation continue (by continuing its funding). We, therefore, have the real prospect that those who sought to look into the Trump-Russia ties that both Mueller and Congressional investigations have demonstrated were real, unprecedented, and dangerous might be prosecuted while those who actively sought the help of a foreign enemy to win an election will not be.

Garlands’ success depends on upholding the rule of law. This means deterring future coup plotters by holding insurgency leaders fully responsible for their attempt to overthrow the government. But he cannot do it without a solid criminal investigation of those at the top, from the people who planned, aided, or funded the Electoral College’s attempt to cancel the vote to those who organized or abetted the attack on the Electoral College crowd against the Capitol. For starters, he could focus on Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, and even Donald Trump, who were all involved in one way or another in the events leading up to the attack.

Garland has disappeared when it comes to prosecuting the people responsible for January 6th. I understand the need to separate the DOJ from politics, but the uncovered evidence is overwhelming against Trump and some members of Congress. Unless he gets off his passive ass and starts indicting these criminals, it will leave the door open to happen again.

Originally published at on December 26, 2021.



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