Over the past week or two, a lot of liberal pundits (on TV and online) have decided to collectively push the narrative that Attorney General Merrick Garland is either incapable of going after the Trump regime, or working with the Trump regime. This stuff is approaching conspiracy theory levels of ridiculousness, all in the name of garnering ratings and retweets. Yet in spite of the absurdity, the pundits have driven home the narrative that Garland’s DOJ isn’t doing anything about the Trump regime. Here’s the thing: that’s fictional, and easily disproven.
Based on publicly available reporting, we all know that the DOJ was closing in on Rudy Giuliani in 2019 – going as far as arresting two of his operatives – before Bill Barr stepped in and killed the criminal case against Rudy. But now that Barr is gone and Merrick Garland is in charge, the DOJ has clearly brought the Rudy case back to life in aggressive fashion, going so far as to raid his home and seize his devices. Moreover, it’s been widely reported that The DOJ is specifically pursuing Rudy for his role in the Trump-Ukraine scandal.
The only reason Rudy hasn’t been arrested yet is that the courts just recently appointed a special master to parse the seized communications and determine what’s suitable to be turned over to prosecutors. But given the current state of the probe, Rudy will certainly be indicted and arrested sometime this year.
Merrick Garland’s DOJ has also raided the home of another Trump-connected lawyer, Victoria Toensing, who also played a role in the Trump-Ukraine scandal.
And although it’s apparently unrelated to any of Trump’s scandals, Garland’s DOJ is criminally targeting infamous Trump lackey Matt Gaetz on a number of serious charges. In fact the DOJ has gotten two key inside witnesses (his ex-girlfriend and Joel Greenberg) to flip on Gaetz in the past month. Now their testimony and evidence has to be parsed, verified, placed in front of a grand jury, and so on – but Gaetz seems on track for arrest in 2021.
Garland’s DOJ has brought conspiracy charges against multiple Roger Stone underlings for their roles in the Capitol attack, making for at least the possibility that Stone will also be charged with conspiracy for the Capitol attack.
So by the end of this year, Garland’s DOJ will have Giuliani, Toensing, Gaetz, and perhaps Stone in handcuffs. If the DOJ is going to criminally charge Trump, those would be its key cooperating witnesses right there.
None of this proves that the Feds will ultimately charge Trump. None of us has any way of knowing if that’ll happen. But it demolishes the narrative that Garland is refusing to go after Trump’s people, or that Garland is trying to let Trump off the hook. If this were true, Garland’s DOJ wouldn’t be going so hard after Trump’s top henchmen.
New York recently empaneled a grand jury to indict Trump for financial crimes. He’ll be arrested there within months. So there’s no hurry for the Feds to target Trump. They’ll be going second after New York anyway (normally the Feds go first and the state goes second, but since Barr delayed the federal case against Trump, New York went first). So if the Feds are going to bring a criminal case against Trump, they might as well use the time to rack up some cooperating witnesses.
When the defeatists insist Trump and his people have gotten away with it all, they’re relying on the logical fallacy that if someone hasn’t been arrested yet, they never will be. They’re also ignoring how long a criminal case takes to build, and the intermediary steps being taken.
You have to go out of your way to ignore the facts in order to claim that “nothing is being done” and that “Trump and his people are getting away with it all.” But then again, the angry mouth foaming defeatist types always ignore the facts that don’t fit their narrative, particularly when they try to convince others to become defeatists.
Should this legal go faster? Yes. Can it go faster? No. Is enough being done? We don’t know the totality of what all is or isn’t being done. Should we push Garland to do more? Of course. But keep it realistic. If you start demanding magic wand solutions that aren’t even real, such as arresting someone immediately when the criminal case isn’t even complete yet, then no serious person will listen to you.
But why haven’t members of Congress been arrested yet for the insurrection? No jury would convict them based on their words alone. It’s why you arrest 500 capitol invaders and hope one or more of them has proof that the Congress members were directly conspiring with them.
There’s no basis yet for concluding that members of Congress will, or will not, be indicted for January 6th. But if they are going to be indicted, what we’re currently seeing would be the process. That door hasn’t closed, not even by an inch.
“But unless something is done right this minute, Trump and his side will win!” The media and the pundits have been feeding us that line every day of 2021 in order to scare us into staying tuned in that day, and yet every day it’s turned out to be untrue. At some point you have to realize they’re just trying to scare you for attention.
In any case, it’s well documented that Merrick Garland’s DOJ is criminally pursuing Team Trump from a number of angles, and in some instances rather aggressively. That’s in addition to any DOJ criminal cases we don’t know about. Keep up the pressure on Garland. But you’re not helping things if you’re making claims about him that are easily disputed by the available facts.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report