In the court of public opinion, Attorney General Merrick Garland will (correctly or not) get credit for everything the DOJ does that people like, and get blamed for everything the DOJ does or doesn’t do that people dislike. To that end, a whole lot of people have spent this year believing that Garland and his DOJ were doing “nothing.”
It didn’t matter that during the course of 2021 the DOJ raided the homes of Trump co-conspirators Rudy Giuliani and Victoria Toensing, arrested Trump money man Tom Barrack, raided Trump-Russia figure Oleg Deripaska, and so on. These moves happened too far apart from each other, and because not much DOJ news leaked out in between them, the media painted a picture of “nothing” happening and Garland being “weak.”
But then this past week happened. Merrick Garland’s DOJ indicted and arrested Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress. It indicted two more people related to the ongoing criminal probe involving Joel Greenberg and Matt Gaetz, making clear that the probe is still ongoing. The Feds raided the home of a Republican official in relation to a phony election “audit.” And the Feds raided the home of Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager in relation to that same phony audit. And it’s still only Thursday.
Let’s be clear: none of these things came out of nowhere. The DOJ didn’t suddenly “wake up.” Garland didn’t suddenly “grow a spine.” That’s just gibberish talk from commentators who don’t understand, or are trying to falsely spin, what we’re all watching happen.
Most of what we’re seeing this week (with the exception of Bannon) is a direct result of lengthy and complex DOJ criminal probes that have been ongoing for months on end. We’re just finally starting to see the fruits of some of these long running probes. There will be plenty more.
Do you know how long it takes to build up a comprehensive enough case to get a judge to sign off on a home search and seizure warrant? Those kinds of warrants don’t just fall out of the sky on demand. These latest raids were the result of a long running DOJ probe into election tampering that until this week we didn’t even know existed – and now Boebert is dragged into it.
What we’re seeing play out this week makes two things clear. First, Merrick Garland’s DOJ is willing to make swift moves as needed, as evidenced by the indictment of Steve Bannon – which was actually a quick process in spite of the media’s moaning and groaning about how long it was supposedly taking. Second, the DOJ has a number of ongoing, sprawling, and still-advancing criminal cases going against a whole lot of corrupt political figures, very little of which has played out in public thus far. It’s not a question of being “patient” with the DOJ. It’s a matter of realizing that the DOJ is actually doing a whole lot as we speak.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report