DOJ insiders growing frustrated with Merrick Garland's foot-dragging on charging Trump's coup plotters: columnist
In his column for the Daily Beast, political analyst David Rothkopf expressed dismay at the lack of indictments of those who helped plot the January 6th insurrection aimed at keeping Donald Trump in office, and explained that his frustration is shared by some in the DOJ who are working under Attorney General Merrick Garland.
As Rothkopf notes, the clock is ticking as the midterm election looms and Republicans look to take over the House whereupon they will likely shut down the select committee investigating the Capitol riot.
That, in turn, is all the more reason for the DOJ to expedite indictments that would compel associates of Trump to be more willing to offer up information that could make the House's work easier.
Admitting that the criminal indictment of former White House advisor Steve Bannon is a start, the Beast columnist explained that Garland needs to pick up the pace.
"A widely respected jurist, Garland was picked by [President Joe] Biden to depoliticize the DoJ and end the abuses of its power we saw under Trump appointees Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr. Certainly, he has made some strides in that direction. But if the result of his de-politicization is tiptoeing around the egregious serial wrongdoing of the leaders of the Republican Party, then his efforts will have exactly the opposite of the intended effect," he wrote before adding. "By failing to hold Trump and Co. accountable, Garland will set the stage for them to continue unabated their efforts to turn the U.S. into a one-party state in which only Republicans can win elections and any tactics they may use to hold on to power will have been effectively validated by the inaction of Garland and his DOJ."
According to Rothkopf, legal experts he consulted urged patience, with former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade stating that a full investigation could take up to two years. But, he added, people he spoke with at the DOJ shared his dismay with Garland's work rate.
"Garland's behavior to date has left me apprehensive," he wrote. "Conversations I have had with folks inside DOJ have not eased those concerns. There, frustration with Garland begins with his management style (which insiders liken to that of a judge running his chambers in which his office is a kind of bubble apart from the department and staffed by a small team akin to the clerks he had when he was in the judiciary)."
"It extends to concerns that he will err too far in the name of caution and a desire not to be perceived as political," he added. "This too is a hold-over from his court days and ignores that A) he is a political appointee, B) the issues he is dealing with are hyper-politicized and c) there is no way to prosecute politicians for crimes committed in the name of partisanship without appearing political."
The columnist then added, "Given that the stakes are so high and seeing some of the decisions Garland has made, I am wondering when it is ok to become alarmed, when it is ok to become angry."
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