If Merrick Garland doesn’t impeach Trump and his coup plotters, our democracy is toast.
NShe Ministry of Justice announced this week that it will crack down Air passenger rage. Now if Attorney General Merrick Garland will just hang around to do something about those who plot to overthrow our government and a former president, who followed each other obstruction of justice and abuse of power We might be getting somewhere.
Not that flight safety doesn’t matter. That is. Just like the arrest and prosecution of the evil Trumpian soldiers who stormed the Capitol on January 6. All of that matters. But it is not enough.
President Joe Biden Can Do Everything Else Right but if his administration – starting with the Department of Justice – misrepresents the threats to our democracy posed by Trump and the GOP, nothing else they will do could matter. subject.
A widely respected jurist, Garland was chosen by Biden to de-politicize the DoJ and end the abuses of power we have seen under Trump, appointees Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr. Sure, he’s made some strides in that direction. But if the result of his depoliticization is tiptoe around the mass grave wrongdoing of Republican leaders, his efforts will be quite the opposite. expected. By not holding Trump and Co accountable, Garland will set the stage for them to continue their undiluted efforts to transform the United States into a one-party state in which only Republicans can win elections and no matter what happens. Any tactic they might employ to stay in power will be effectively validated by the inaction of Garland and his DOJ.
Garland has, in many cases, taken steps to actually empower or encourage those who currently pose a threat to our systems. A particularly egregious example of this is Garland’s decision to side with Trump by arguing that the former president was acting in his official capacity when he lied and smeared journalist E. Jean Carroll after her accusations that Trump raped her long before he was elected. chairperson.
Garland’s position was defended by allies, who saw him as an “institutionalist” who felt it was his duty to protect presidential prerogatives. quite serious threat as posed by “self-anointed institutions”.
Recently, Garland won praise for getting the Justice Department to enforce congressional charges against depressed Trump confidant Stephen Bannon. However, the DOJ’s decision to bring charges against Bannon took weeks when it should have taken minutes. The case was clear. Bannon ignored a legal subpoena from Congress, claiming rights he didn’t have.
I have been advised by wise and respected friends, such as former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman, that we should be grateful for Bannon’s decision because it will empower Congress to act do your job. I understand the point. But this congressional investigation has a clock running on it. If the GOP retakes the House next November, as many are currently predicting, the investigation into the January 6 coup plot would be immediately ended by Republicans. So to all those called by the committee, it seems all they have to do to avoid suffering any consequences for their actions is stagnate just like Bannon is doing. In this case, justice delayed will inevitably be denied justice.
What is more disturbing to me, however, is that the only reason we are hearing of any case being brought against Bannon as a high-ranking coup plotter (or senior manager). higher in any case) is because Congress is investigating the events of January 6. We haven’t heard. The Department of Justice announced the prosecution of those responsible for instigating, planning, or funding an effort to undo the lawful transfer of presidential power to the person the American people elected, Joe Biden .
We have also not heard of them being involved in the prosecution of dozens of apparent obstruction of justice cases that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report cited against Trump. We have seen that Garland is letting the highly politicized investigation of special counsel John Durham into conducting the Trump-Russia investigation continue (by continuing its funding). We therefore have the real prospect that those who seek to examine the Trump-Russia relationship that both the Mueller and Congressional investigations have proven real, unprecedented, and dangerous may prosecuted while those who actively seek the help of foreign enemies to win elections will not be.
Other wise and experienced legal observers I deeply respect argue that more patience is needed, that we don’t know what Garland is doing behind the scenes and that we should give him more time. time. One such person is former US attorney Barbara McQuade. She told me, “While I understand the disappointment that the DOJ has yet to charge the higher-level defendants in the January 6 attacks, I think it is not yet time to be angry with AG Garland for having no action. We do not know what investigative steps may be taken as a result of the grand jury’s request for secrecy. Robert Mueller spent nearly two years on his investigation. I hope this investigation will last at least that long.”
AG Gill, another analyst on these issues that I deeply respect and creator and host of the Daily Beans and Mueller podcasts She Wrote, argues cautiously for a different reason. She feels yes efforts to turn public opinion against Garland and DOJ as a way of weakening and discrediting these institutions.
And Garland’s behavior so far still scares me. The conversations I’ve had with people inside the DOJ haven’t allayed those worries. There, frustration with Garland begins with his management style (which insiders liken to a judge running his chambers, where his office is a sort of bubble separate from the rest of the world). department and staffed by a small group like the secretaries he had while in the judiciary).
It extended to concern that he would err too far in the name of prudence and a desire not to be seen as political. This is also a delay from his court days and ignores that A) he is a political appointee, B) the problems he is dealing with are hyper-politicized, and c) there is no way to prosecute politicians for crimes in the name of partisanship without appearing political.
But, I still admit it. I hear our justice clock ticking loudly like Mona Lisa Vito’s biological clock. Given that the stakes are too high and seeing some of the decisions Garland has made, I’m wondering when to panic, when is it good to get angry.
I asked Slate senior editor and “Amicus” podcast host Dahlia Lithwick if my rising anger was tolerable, and she replied, “I was pretty okay. about got mad last summer. May all the good and much-needed initiatives be admired and celebrated by the DOJ of Garland, to rejoice in his principled effort to restore the wall between the Department of Justice and the White House that Bill Barr and Donald Trump have reduced to a picky hedgehog, and are still going crazy over the DOJ’s clear hope that consideration of Trump’s lawlessness can be left to prosecutors in New York. and Parliament.
She continued, making an important historical point: “When the Obama Administration decided to draw a line under the Bush era torture and re-enactment programs, it didn’t disappear the past but just bury it. And claim that Trump’s election denialism is definitive Not in the past – according to a poll in November from Institute for the Study of Public Religion68% of Republicans believe the 2020 election has been ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump. That growing number not only raises doubts about the integrity of elections and the rule of law, but it is also used to overcome election suppression and overthrow democracy measures in states across the country. The ‘big lie’ sown on January 6 has become a test of the GOP’s loyalty. I understand that the optics of prosecuting one’s political enemies and criminalizing fiery speech and politics is a call back to the days of McCarthy shudder. But the lies and violence, white supremacy, and perversion of January 6 are not buried in the past, they are metastasizing and spreading in ways that threaten the future. . “
Respected law scholar Lawrence Tribe, who taught Garland when the attorney general was a student at Harvard Law School, suggests that we should give his former students a little more time, but not a lot of time. unlimited quantity. He also heard the ticking of the clock. Tribe told me, “If Merrick Garland hadn’t allowed Bannon to be indicted when he did, I would have been mad long ago. At least for someone like me, he bought a few weeks with that indictment — but not months. ”
“All things considered,” he continued, “I would be both disappointed and angry if we found ourselves entering January 2022 without solid evidence – in a leaky town. leak like a sieve – that the DOJ is going at full speed to hold Trump and those who support, promote, sponsor and accomplices criminally responsible for the coup they attempted to carry out, and violent uprising they waged against the Capitol to delay, impede and, if possible, undermine the solemn electoral process taking place there. “
That also makes sense to me. What is certain is this: Time is running out. There is every reason to fear that Trump and the coup plotters will not be held accountable in any meaningful way. Otherwise, they will see the failure of our justice system as a license to continue attacks on our government system. Furthermore, without an effective Department of Justice effort, such attacks are more likely to succeed and be compounded by even greater abuses. And at that point, all the institutionalists in the world won’t be able to put the Humpty Dumpty of a democracy back together again.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/if-merrick-garland-doesnt-charge-trump-and-his-coup-plotters-our-democracy-is-toast?source=articles&via=rss If Merrick Garland doesn’t impeach Trump and his coup plotters, our democracy is toast.