Over the past few months, a whole lot of liberal-leaning media outlets and pundits have decided that Attorney General Merrick Garland is the devil. They’ve taken a widely misunderstood DOJ ruling about a Trump civil suit and insisted that it means Garland is “covering up” Trump’s crimes. They’ve falsely claimed that Garland has decided not to prosecute Trump for his crimes. They’ve insisted that the DOJ is doing “nothing” about Trump’s criminal cronies, even as the DOJ has arrested Tom Barrack and raided the home of Rudy Giuliani.
Of course this is mostly about manufacturing outrage for the sake of ratings, retweets, and page views. Pundits know full well that federal criminal cases tend to proceed methodically and largely out of the public eye, so it’s easy for them to falsely claim that Merrick Garland is doing “nothing.” Of course it’s created a largely mistaken public backlash against Garland, which in turn only serves to make it harder for Garland to do what he is going to do. But hey, this isn’t about justice; it’s about TV ratings and going viral on Twitter.
Then came yesterday. House Republican Mo Brooks tried to get the DOJ to defend him in the civil suit that Eric Swalwell brought against him. The courts asked the DOJ to respond, and sure enough, the DOJ announced that it will not defend Brooks because his actions on January 6th were outside the scope of his job duties.
This is the kind of ruling you’d expect to see from Merrick Garland’s DOJ. It was based on the law, precedent, and specific evidence, just as legal determinations are supposed to go. Not everyone is going to agree with every such decision – we 100% disagree with the Garland DOJ’s decision to continue representing Trump in the civil suit brought by E. Jean Carroll – but it’s clear that these decisions are being made in good faith.
Merrick Garland is not carrying out a “coverup” on behalf of Donald Trump. There is no evidence that Garland has decided not to prosecute Trump. There is proof that Garland has signed off on multiple criminal cases against Trump’s associates (Barrack, Giuliani, Victoria Toensing). When the media and the pundits try to manufacture outrage by claiming otherwise, they’re coming dangerously close to becoming anti-Garland conspiracy theorists – and that’s not in any way productive.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report