5 ways Merrick Garland claims attacks against the DOJ are 'dangerous for our democracy'

Garland claims that the DOJ does "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."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
In an angry op ed in the Washington Post, Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland claims that attacks against the Justice Department are "dangerous for our democracy." Garland, who has taken up two criminal lawsuits against his boss' top political enemy and let his boss Joe Biden off the hook for committing the very same crime he's prosecuting Donald Trump for, told readers that critique of these cases or those undertaking to prosecute them are the problem, not the actions of his department. Garland also scoffed at a congressional subpoena for documents from his department.

Garland lays out what he sees as the "escalation of attacks" that he says "go far beyond scrutiny, criticism, and legitimate and necessary oversight of our work." In response to the targeting of conservatives and Trump associated by the DOJ, many have called for "reciprocity" in the event that Republicans take back the White House in November.

1. "Threats" to defund the DOJ issued by members of Congress who know that without funding, the political prosecutions against Trump, his associates, and J6ers could not continue.

2. "Conspiracy theories" that "somehow" the Department of Justice was involved in cases brought against Trump at the state level by Fulton County DA Fani Willis and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.

3. "Dangerous falsehoods" about the FBI and their "operations," which include the classification of Catholics who prefer traditional mass as domestic extremists, targeting of parents at school board meetings, and arrests of those exercising their First Amendment rights to protest outside abortion clinics.

4. The "bullying and intimidation" of DOJ employees such as special prosecutor Jack Smith who helms both federal criminal cases against Trump.

5. "False claims" that the DOJ is "politicizing its work to somehow influence the outcome of an election." Garland claims that anyone who says this about the DOJ is really just trying to do that themselves.

He says that the DOJ "will not be intimidated," and in his defense he links to the recent conviction of a California man who was found guilty of sending threatening emails to the FBI over six months, including one email where he "threatened to bomb the FBI Los Angeles Field Office and referenced the notorious 'Unabomber.'"

Garland claims that the DOJ does "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." He says that anyone who claims that the DOJ does engage in political prosecutions is "using conspiracy theories, falsehoods, violence and threats of violence to affect political outcomes." 

He demands an end to these "attacks," saying "Continued unfounded attacks against the Justice Department’s employees are dangerous for people’s safety. They are dangerous for our democracy. This must stop."

Garland is the AG who went flouted a congressional subpoena recently to turn over audio recordings of President Joe Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur in which they discuss the president's retaining classified documents in his personal home and offices that he was not entitled to retain after his vice presidency. Hur claims that Biden should not prosecuted because he's a sympathetic old man. Garland is prosecuting Trump for the same crime, only Trump was president. 

For this refusal, the House threatened to hold Garland in contempt. Others have called for his impeachment. Garland shot back that it was his belief that the House only wanted the recording for political reasons. The House GOP's subpoena and demand for information was referenced by Garland as "repeated attacks" against the department. For Garland, his attacks against the people's House, his claims that they are acting out of politics and not ethics, are not "dangerous to democracy"—only attacks against his department rise to that level for the appointed AG.

Biden asserted executive privilege to prevent the records from being released, but when Trump exerted privilege over his presidential correspondence with Steve Bannon, Bannon was held in contempt for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena and is now facing four months in federal prison because of it. This despite Trump's revocation of that privilege which would have allowed Bannon to testify.

Garland, however, stood on his claims, saying the House wanted the audio "for no legitimate purpose," saying that it was "sensitive law enforcement information that could harm the integrity of future investigations. This effort is only the most recent in a long line of attacks on the Justice Department’s work."

The House GOP disagrees and many, including Ohio's Jim Jordan and Arizona's Andy Biggs, both say that the DOJ is operating with political bias. "Justice is no longer blind in America," Jordan said. "Today it's driven by politics."
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