Attorney General Merrick Garland Is Covering Up Democratic Misdeeds
More evidence emerges that Attorney General Merrick Garland has allowed the Department of Justice to become outrageously politicized on behalf of liberal interests. Indeed, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer is breaking the law.
Nine months into the Biden presidency, Garland has yet to comply with a perfectly legitimate order issued by former President Donald Trump on his last day in office. The order, made in the worthy cause of public transparency, would declassify much of the material from the investigation into Russia’s efforts to help Trump win the presidency.
Even though it is a wild overstatement to say the entire Russia investigation was a “hoax,” key parts of it were hopelessly compromised from the very beginning in ways that appear at least borderline criminal. We know that as an indisputable fact. We know that Democratic operatives ginned up surveillance operations based on patently false accusations. And we know that the worst suspicions, namely that Trump or his aides engaged in an illegal conspiracy with Russian operatives, were unsubstantiated.
Even former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos, now with ABC News, has taken a tough line on much of this bogus information. ABC’s This Week on Sunday aired excerpts from an interview Stephanopoulos conducted with Christopher Steele, the extremely dodgy former intelligence agent from Great Britain whose “dossier” full of now-debunked allegations played a huge role in catalyzing the Russia inquiry. Judging from the excerpts, Steele comes out looking dodgier than ever. (The full interview will stream on Hulu beginning Oct. 18.)
The public has good reason to want as much information as possible about involvement in this illegitimate hit job by people working on behalf of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Whatever Trump’s motives in ordering most of the information released, the public interest in rooting out political corruption supports that order.
When U.S. senators — who are, of course, elected delegates of the public and rightly enjoy oversight authority vis-a-vis executive agencies such as the Justice Department — repeatedly request documents declassified by a president, the department has an absolute duty to comply in a timely fashion. In this instance, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have been requesting the documents since Feb. 25, eight months ago. Since then, they say they have made “countless emails and phone calls requesting updates.” They say the department “has not produced a single declassified record to Congress and the American people.”
Absent a countervailing public order by President Joe Biden, it is the absolute, lawful duty of Garland to comply with Trump’s order and with the senators’ demands. In this case, it would be highly improper for Biden to issue such an order, as it would amount to protecting his close political allies at the expense of the public’s right to know how its own government was compromised.
In thumbing his nose at a presidential order and at duly elected senators, Garland is on shaky ground. If Democrats in Congress cared, as they should, about their institutional authority rather than covering up what would be a short-term political embarrassment, they would join Republicans in insisting that Garland do his duty.
Garland right now is in violation of the law and in obvious contempt of Congress. If he continues this course, Congress should make a formal finding of contempt and President Biden should order Garland’s deputies to enforce it against their boss.
Author: Quin Hillyer
Source: Washington Examiner: Attorney General Merrick Garland is covering up Democratic misdeeds