Merrick Garland under fire for dragging his feet on Steve Bannon indictment: CNN
According to a report from CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza, Attorney General Merrick Garland is coming under increasing fire for not handing down a criminal indictment against former Donald Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon over two weeks after the House voted on a criminal referral.
It has been sixteen days since the House cited Bannon for criminal contempt after he refused to provide testimony or documents to the select committee investigating the Jan 6th insurrection. and patience with the methodical and circumspect Garland is wearing thin.
As Cillizza points out, former GOP spokesperson and now MSNBC contributor Kurt Baredlla spoke for more than a few Americans when he openly blurted on Twitter: "How the f*ck is Steve Bannon still a free man?"
According to the CNN analyst, "One liberal group —
Free Speech for People — went so far as to call on Garland to resign — suggesting that since he 'Is unwilling to step up, it is time for him to step down" before adding, ' Amid this rising chorus of criticism, Garland — and his Justice Department — have been silent."
After the House made their referral, the now-the embattled AG stated, "The Department of Justice will do what it always does in such circumstances: We'll apply the facts and the law and make a decision, consistent with the principles of prosecution."
But, after sixteen days, questions are being raised at the disposition of what appears, from the outside, to be a slam dunk case that should lead to Bannon's arrest.
"While President Joe Biden has repeatedly emphasized that he will not meddle in affairs of the Justice Department — seeking to strike a clear contrast with the active role that President Donald Trump played in trying to steer the actions of the department — he did complicate that position shortly after the House contempt vote," Cillizza reports before adding, "Garland's position is an unenviable one — caught between liberal demands that Bannon be thrown in jail for refusing to comply with the committee's subpoena and a desire to keep the Justice Department above any allegations of settling political scores for the administration."
More importantly, members of the House committee want to use the threat of jail to get Bannon to comply so that their investigation can fill in some holes over what led up to the Jan 6th riot.
As the CNN editor notes, "Bannon also talked to Trump on the night of January 5 — after Vice President Mike Pence had informed Trump that he would not be overturning the Electoral College votes the following day in Congress," adding, "Bannon himself has owned up to his role in plotting with Trump to undermine the Biden presidency on January 6 — and he's even sort of declared victory."
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