top of page

Presumably Merrick Garland Understands The Difference Between A Prosecutor & A Judge

One of Obama’s many terrible ideas was to nominate the most conservative Democratic judge he could find for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, certain that enough conservative Senate Republicans would back him to get him onto the Court. McConnell laughed in his face and saved the seat for Trump to fill with a neo-fascist corporate whore (Neil Gorsuch), abolishing the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees as part of process. By the way, 3 right-wing Democrats, Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (MSNBC), voted to confirm Gorsuch. Anyway, after Biden was elected president, he thought it would be a grand idea to name that same reject, Merrick Garland, picked almost completely because his conservative cred, as Attorney General. So now we’re stuck with someone who refuses to prosecute any of the masterminds behind Trump’s coup attempt. Next week he’s going to the hospital for an old man condition and, if the country is lucky— it hasn’t been lately— he’ll decide to retire.

Incredibly, his Justice Department would rather fight the Select Committee investigating the coup attempt than fight the perpetrators of the coup. Cassidy Hutchinson’s compelling testimony against Trump, Meadows and their cronies puts Garland in an uncomfortable— untenable?— place. David Rhode wrote that her revelations “strengthened a potential criminal case against [Trump] ‘Her testimony moved the needle,” David Laufman, a former senior Justice Department official and federal prosecutor, told me. Evidence that Trump intentionally obstructed an official proceeding— Congress’s certification of Joe Biden’s victory in 2020— is mounting. On Wednesday night, the committee issued a subpoena for Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel. Hutchinson, in her testimony, said that Cipollone repeatedly warned the President that his actions were illegal. Cipollone, who has declined to testify under oath so far, has the opportunity to become the John Dean of the Trump era: a White House counsel who puts the public airing of a President’s criminal activity above party loyalty.”

The feverish and tribal nature of American politics today threatens again to reduce the chances that Trump will be held accountable. Hutchinson’s testimony astonished Justice Department prosecutors as much as it did the viewing public, the Times reported. It also blindsided them. The committee gave no advance warning of Hutchinson’s statements to department prosecutors, who have spent months investigating the assault. The prosecutors don’t have access to videos and transcripts of hours of testimony that Hutchinson has provided to the committee behind closed doors.
A rift appears to be opening between Congress and the DOJ Earlier this month, four top Justice Department officials sent a letter to the committee criticizing it for not sharing transcripts from the thousand-plus interviews it has conducted. “The Select Committee’s failure to grant the Department access to these transcripts complicates the Department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct,” the letter stated.
…In an unprecedented moment in American history, a President who conducted a failed coup appears intent on returning to power by any means necessary. If there was ever a time for coöperation, trust, and patience among Trump opponents, regardless of position or party, it is now.

Did you watch the video up top? Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) told Colbert that “When you try to overthrow the will of the people and you try a coup in the United State government, you have to pay for that; period! That’s what we require.” Huge audience applause. Reporting for the NY Times on Wednesday, Glenn Thrush, Luke Broadwater and Michael Schmidt wrote that “Committee members have repeatedly suggested that Attorney General Merrick Garland has not moved fast enough to follow up their investigative leads. But for reasons that are not entirely clear— classic Washington bureaucratic territorialism, the department’s unwillingness to share information or the desire to stage-manage a successful public forum— members have resisted turning over hundreds of transcripts until they are done with their work. Senior Justice Department officials say that has slowed their investigation. Hutchinson’s name has not yet appeared on subpoenas and other court documents related to their investigation into the effort to overturn the 2020 election, and she did not seem to be a primary witness before the hearings. The committee and its supporters say its independence has allowed it to create an investigative road map for the department’s subsequent inquiries, even if members remain divided over whether to make an official criminal referral to Garland. ‘It’s fair to regard this series of most recent hearings as a slow-motion referral in plain view of conduct warranting, at minimum, criminal investigation and potential prosecution,’ said David Laufman, a former federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official. ‘They haven’t held back anything.’”

Over the past month, the committee has aired hours of testimony— none more significant than Hutchinson’s narrative of Trump’s actions on the day of the attack— that legal experts believe bolstered a potential criminal case against Trump for inciting the mob or attempting to obstruct the special session of Congress.
That, in turn, has escalated the already intense pressure on Garland and his top aides. The now familiar meme— exhorting Garland to do his “job” by indicting Trump— began to emerge on social media even before Hutchinson left the hearing room.
“We need some action from the DOJ, and we need it now,” Representative Ruben Gallego, Democrat of Arizona, said in an interview. “We’re in a time crunch now. Every day these criminals walk free is one more day of them evading justice. As we get closer to the midterm elections, I fear not acting will only empower the complicit Republicans more if they take power.”
For their part, members of the committee have repeatedly and publicly called for Garland to do more, even as the panel has denied the Justice Department access to its transcripts. (A committee spokesman has said the panel is negotiating with the Justice Department and could turn over its transcripts as early as July when it finishes its public hearings.)
“I have yet to see any indication that the former president himself is under investigation,” Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and a member of the committee, said on Meet The Press on NBC recently, adding, “It’s not a difficult decision to investigate when there’s evidence before you.”
That followed a steady drumbeat of similar statements from members of the panel who have urged the Justice Department to investigate Trump and charge with contempt his allies who will not cooperate with the committee’s investigation.

bottom of page