With the legal cases he’s brought to court regarding voting rights and abortion rights, Attorney General Merrick Garland has shown himself to be someone who likes to take the time to do his homework and build the kind of aggressive and comprehensive cases that can actually win in court.
So when it comes to the question of when or whether Garland and his DOJ will bring criminal cases against the likes of Steve Bannon or Donald Trump, the same criteria obviously applies. If Garland is going to bring any given case against any given Trump world figure, he’s first going to make sure he’s built a sufficiently aggressive and comprehensive case so as to ensure victory at trial.
In other words, just about every bit of commentary you’ve been hearing about Merrick Garland is based entirely in fiction. No, he’s not weak. No, he’s not hesitant. No, he hasn’t decided to protect Trump and his goons. These narratives don’t fit the actual pattern we’ve seen from Garland’s behavior at all. He’s just clearly a guy who doesn’t want to pick any given fight unless and until he’s bulked up enough to be able to win it.
You don’t have to agree with Garland’s approach. You can insist that Garland should be swiftly bringing thinner cases against people like Bannon and Trump, in order to slap the handcuffs on them sooner in order to send some message, even though thinner cases would be more likely to result in acquittal at trial. But you need to understand that this rather weak argument is the best argument you can reasonably make against Garland at this point. The notion that Garland is sitting on his hands, doing nothing, like a deer in the headlights, isn’t just fiction – it’s easily disproven fiction. All you have to do is look at the aggressive and comprehensive nature of the cases he has brought thus far.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report