In 2021, President-elect Biden nominated Judge Merrick Garland to be his attorney general. With a public image as close to a Mr. Clean as you can get, we had high hopes that Garland could be a desperately-needed agent of change. Listening to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s testimony at his Senate confirmation hearings last year, however, we were suddenly seized with a feeling of foreboding; a sense that his turn in office would not be the catalyst for a hoped-for political healing.
We were nonplussed to hear him declare to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would make the federal investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot – which Democrats were making a very public effort to tie to former president Donald Trump – as his first priority. Obviously keeping right wing terrorism in sight is important, but did it trump concerns over Chinese and Russian challenges to U.S. cyber security, national security breaches, industrial espionage, and social media monopolies?
Surely, Judge Garland could not be unaware that keeping a focus on Jan. 6 also kept significant negatives about the most formidable potential Republican presidential candidate in the public eye. Nor could he be ignorant of the fact that his apparent partisanship, while in such a high-profile government office, could only serve to sharpen the political divide between those in power and those seeking to grasp it.
In fact, he has since fanned the “white supremacy” scare. Two important examples come to mind. First, on Garland’s watch, the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged someone who admitted he followed a crowd into the Capitol on Jan. 6 with four relatively minor offenses. The individual argued that a police officer waved him in, and videotape evidence supported his claim. Indeed, the federal judge presiding over the non-jury trial acquitted the defendant on that very ground. Other cases with similar fact patterns are reportedly being reconsidered by the Justice Department. Surely Garland, as a former federal judge, knows that clear and convincing evidence of criminal intent is required for conviction of a crime. So why in Heaven’s name would Garland have allowed these cases to be brought in the first place?
Nor has there been any substantive response to the mounting evidence that FBI agents had infiltrated a number of the groups that rushed the Capitol on Jan. 6, reportedly egging on some participants. To what extent was Jan. 6 substantially a product of the FBI?
And then there was the acquittal of two “white supremacist” men charged with conspiracy to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Their prosecution made national headlines as supposed evidence of violent extremism and its dangers. The DOJ said the defendants were associated with the Wolverine Watchmen, a militia group that planned to kidnap Gov.Whitmer, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Journal also suggested that the jury likely believed the defendants’ core defense that the FBI entrapped them into taking steps towards a kidnapping they never intended to carry out.
He also deepened our concerns when he announced federal intervention into disputes between outraged parents and local school board officials who had advocated parts of the Biden Administration’s woke agenda. It deepened further when he launched a federal investigation into the alleged theft of a diary purportedly kept by a daughter of President Biden and which allegedly had some unkind things to say about the President. How these two heretofore local issues became federal ones has never been explained.
On the other hand, a thorough and transparent handling of the Hunter Biden saga seems to be in the works and could go a long way towards reassuring the many skeptics out there. Sadly, there is an unmistakable aura of coverup enveloping the seemingly inordinate length of time it is taking for the facts to be revealed. As attorney general, Judge Garland can do much to clear the air even if there are no indictments.
Similarly, the apparent free hand he has given Special Counsel John Durham to pursue some troubling, unresolved issues that have arisen out of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. One in particular involves a lawyer for that campaign who was indicted for lying to the FBI when he said he had brought the Trump/Russia collusion issue to the agency in his personal capacity and not on behalf of any client. If that was a lie, then on whos’s behalf did he go to the FBI? Interestingly, Mr. Durham has now uncovered that the lawyer billed the Clinton campaign for his FBI visit.
And though outside the realm of the criminal justice system, it wouldn’t hurt if the media tried to get to the bottom of how it came to pass that 51 former leaders of the U.S. intelligence community came together to debunk the damning reports about what the notorious Hunter Biden laptop as “Russian disinformation.” It is now beyond doubt that they were dead wrong. So how and why did they all come together? Who coordinated it?
And more recently, why the collective media yawn that greeted the corroborated news that the President actually did meet with his son’s business partners at the White House while Vice President after his repeated denials that he did? Conversely, why was there an unseemly rush to judgment about the claim that there was a 7.5 hour gap in President Donald Trump’s Jan.6, 2020 phone logs? Found out to be a complete hoax, but not before a solid wall of liberal media types – from Robert Woodward on down – were promptly trotted out to smugly point to a new Watergate scandal.
We hope that Attorney General Garland and other officials – including concerned members of the media – will rise to the occasion.