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Politics If Merrick Garland Doesn’t Charge Trump and His Coup Plotters, Our Democracy Is Toast

03:50  28 november  2021
03:50  28 november  2021 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Parental rights activists call for Garland’s resignation over leaked FBI email

  Parental rights activists call for Garland’s resignation over leaked FBI email A group of conservative parental rights activists is calling for the resignation of Attorney General Merrick Garland following the release of an internal FBI email that showed the agency actively monitored threats against school board members. © Provided by Washington Examiner Ian Prior, the executive director of the political action committee Fight for Schools, and the Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo were among those calling for Garland’s resignation after House Republicans disclosed an internal FBI email that showed the agency’s counterterrorism office organized possible threats against school board officia

Biden, Garland , Trump , every Republican and most every Democrat are all on the the same side. It's rich people versus the peasants. The real reason Democrats aren' t acting and making something happen is because they don' t really care if Trump becomes president again. Merrick Garland was a compromised pick under Obama to appease the GOP and they shot him down anyway. After the GOP's picks and actions of their AGs under Trump you'd think Biden would have realized maybe Garland wasn' t the best choice.

Trump and his legion of followers must be stopped. The evidence appears ubiquitous. The DOJ owes it to the American people and to our democracy to cut off the head of the snake. But President Trump was able to look at precedent, and calculate that even if he wasn’ t able to keep himself in power by ignoring the Electoral College vote, then, like President Nixon before him, he would probably be pardoned by his successor. Any ideological successor to Trump needs to know that if his putsch fails, he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Getty

The Department of Justice announced this week that it would crack down on airline passengers who throw tantrums. Now, if Attorney General Merrick Garland would only get around to doing something about people who plot the overthrow of our government and a former president who's serially obstructed justice and abused power we might be getting someplace.

Not that in-flight safety isn’t important. It is. Just like it’s important to arrest and prosecute the moron Trumpist foot soldiers who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. All that is important. But it is not enough.

Is Merrick Garland letting Trump’s people off the hook?

  Is Merrick Garland letting Trump’s people off the hook? The debate over the attorney general’s reckoning with Trump’s legacy, explained.The former federal judge has promised to restore the independence of the Justice Department after years of Trump-related controversies. But a narrative has formed that Garland is too set on moving forward, and not focused enough on bringing wrongdoers associated with the Trump administration to justice.

Mr. Trump ’s frequent threats and insults directed at Republicans whom he considers insufficiently loyal have created powerful incentives for the party’s lawmakers to issue similarly bellicose statements. As far as Bannon goes, he’s talking to the same Trump MAGAT’s that he swindled out of million (supposedly to help build the “wall” but instead he pocketed the money). When he was charged with fraud, Trump pardoned him. Think the rubes and marks he previously stole from will figure it out?

Democrats are going to lose really big because of his and his department's inaction. Garland isn' t even trying to be partisan, he's just doing fuck all. Voted for Biden but extremely displeased at the hands off approach to his own DOJ. " If Merrick Garland does not prosecute Steve Bannon, all these other witnesses they are going to have no deterrent either and they are going to see it as a free-for-all to do what they will," as CNN legal analyst Elie Honig put it. "So there is a lot riding on what Merrick Garland decides to do here."

President Joe Biden may get everything else right but if his administration—starting with the Department of Justice—gets wrong its response to the threats to our democracy posed by Trump and the GOP, nothing else they do may matter.

A widely respected jurist, Garland was picked by Biden to depoliticize the DoJ and end the abuses of its power we saw under Trump appointees Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr. Certainly, he has made some strides in that direction. But if the result of his de-politicization is tiptoeing around the egregious serial wrongdoing of the leaders of the Republican Party, then his efforts will have exactly the opposite of the intended effect. By failing to hold Trump and Co. accountable, Garland will set the stage for them to continue unabated their efforts to turn the U.S. into a one-party state in which only Republicans can win elections and any tactics they may use to hold on to power will have been effectively validated by the inaction of Garland and his DOJ.

Justice Department escalates warning to states over GOP voting laws and election audits

  Justice Department escalates warning to states over GOP voting laws and election audits The Justice Department fired a fresh round of warning shots at Republican-led state voting laws and GOP-led 2020 election audits on Wednesday. © Provided by Washington Examiner With the release of two new federal guidance memos, Attorney General Merrick Garland made it abundantly clear he's not easing the pressure after he filed a high-profile lawsuit against Georgia last month and threatened action against the Arizona Senate's controversial audit of the Maricopa County election ahead of its release of a report expected later this summer.

Garland is letting Insurrectionists get off with trespassing charges . He is Barr with a slimmer waistline. Garland is more interested in protecting institutions, including Biden, his boss, than anything else. Merrick needs to start acting instead of doing nothing about trump 's corruption. No one of his caliber in Trump 's cabinet is willing to cross him, for whatever reason.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is facing a choice that is more than simply characterising his career. If he cannot translate between right and wrong and decides to regard savage events as a method of vindicating trump 's supposed authority obligations, then self-government will become a We either can stand up for the rule of law and prosecute Trump or say to any future lunatic GOP President that staging a coup is ok. And make no mistake every time we don’ t prosecute a criminal President since Nixon they keep getting more corrupt and bold. Reagan sold crack to the black neighborhoods in LA

Garland has, on more than one occasion, already taken steps that have actually empowered or emboldened those who currently pose a threat to our system. A particularly egregious example of this was Garland’s decision to take the side of Trump by arguing that the former president was acting in his official capacity when he lied and defamed journalist E. Jean Carroll following her accusation that Trump had raped her long before he was elected president.

Garland’s position was defended by allies who argued that he was an “institutionalist” who felt it was his duty to defend presidential prerogatives.But what he was actually doing was defending the abuse of power and, however inadvertently, demonstrating that our institutions may face no threat quite so grave as that posed by self-anointed “institutionalists.”

Recently, Garland has won praise for having had the Justice Department enforce contempt of Congress charges against disheveled Trump crony Stephen Bannon. However, the DOJ decision to bring charges against Bannon took weeks when it should have taken minutes. The case was clear-cut. Bannon ignored a legitimate Congressional subpoena, claiming rights he did not have.

Liberals may end up liking much of Merrick Garland's Justice Department after all

  Liberals may end up liking much of Merrick Garland's Justice Department after all Attorney General Merrick Garland's effort to restore public trust in the Justice Department quietly may be turning into one progressive Democrats like, after months of handwringing among some critics on the left that he would block accountability for Trump-era abuses. © Mandel Ngan/AP In this April 26, 2021 photo, Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington. In a court filing Tuesday, the Justice Department rejected pro-Trump Republican Rep. Mo Brooks's request to be shielded from a lawsuit related to his incendiary comments before the January 6 Capitol attack.

The threshold legal determination Garland —or a special prosecutor appointed by Garland —must make is whether Trump coerced or ordered the political activity identified as Hatch Act violations by the OSC. If so, Trump could be liable to prosecution for political coercion under the aforementioned statute. Certainly, there are multiple accounts of Trump exerting precisely this kind of pressure on those in his inner circle. Numerous government officials, from the then head of the FBI, James Comey, to former White House lawyer Don McGahn, as well as state election officials like Georgia Secretary of State

Also, what is Garland supposed to do for the rest of his career? Recuse himself from any hot button issue just because Republican Party policy negatively impacted his life? That happens to everyone in the country on a daily basis. Oh my God I am so glad I live in Australia where we haven' t politicised the shit out of our judiciary. The executive appoints cabinet in Australia too but the federal AG confers with the AG's of the states for the appointment, reducing politicisation. I appreciate the irony of the situation but the fact that Americans count on a judge based on their supposed political leanings

Merrick Garland addresses the staff on his first day at the Department of Justice March 11, 2021. Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Merrick Garland addresses the staff on his first day at the Department of Justice March 11, 2021. Getty

I have been counseled by wise and respected friends, like former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman, that we should be grateful for the Bannon decision because it will empower the Congress to do its job. I understand the view. But this Congressional investigation has a clock running on it. If the GOP retakes the House next November, as many are currently predicting, the investigation into the Jan. 6 coup attempt will be instantly ended by the Republicans. So for all those called by the committee, it may appear that all they have to do to avoid suffering any consequences for their action is to stall just as Bannon is doing. In this case, justice delayed will most certainly be justice denied.

More troubling to me though is that the only reason we are hearing of any case being brought against Bannon as a senior coup plotter (or upper middle management in any case) is because Congress is investigating the events of Jan. 6. We have not heard a peep out of the Department of Justice about prosecuting those responsible for inciting, planning or funding the effort to undo the lawful transfer of presidential power to the man the American people elected, Joe Biden.

Justice Dept. to prioritize prosecuting violence on flights

  Justice Dept. to prioritize prosecuting violence on flights WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland directed U.S. attorneys across the country to swiftly prioritize prosecution of federal crimes that happen on commercial flights as federal officials face a historic number of investigations into passenger behavior. Garland's memo, issued Wednesday, emphasizes that the Justice Department is committed to aggressively prosecuting violent passengers who assault crew members or endanger the safety of other passengers. Federal law prohibits interfering with a flight crew, including assaulting, intimidating or threatening crew members.

We also have not heard a peep out of them in terms of prosecuting the dozen instances of clear obstruction of justice that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report cited against Trump. We have seen that Garland is letting the highly politicized investigation of special prosecutor John Durham into the conduct of the Trump-Russia investigation continue (by continuing its funding). We therefore have the real prospect that those who sought to look into the Trump-Russia ties that both Mueller and Congressional investigations have demonstrated were real, unprecedented and dangerous might be prosecuted while those who actively sought the help of a foreign enemy to win an election will not be.

Other wise and experienced legal observers for whom I have massive respect argue that further patience is in order, that we don’t know what Garland is doing behind the scenes and we should give him more time. One such person is former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade. She said to me, “While I understand the frustration that DOJ has not yet charged higher-level defendants in the Jan. 6 attack, I think that it is not yet time to be angry with AG Garland for inaction. We don't know what investigative steps may be occurring because of the grand jury secrecy requirement. Robert Mueller spent almost two years on his investigation. I would expect this investigation to take at least that long.”

Feds Will Act Swiftly to Prosecute Airline Passengers Who Misbehave, Get Violent

  Feds Will Act Swiftly to Prosecute Airline Passengers Who Misbehave, Get Violent The FAA has initiated nearly 1,000 investigations into passenger conduct this year, the highest by far since they started keeping track in 1995.The memo said the Justice Department is committed to aggressively prosecuting passengers who assault crew members or other passengers, or otherwise endanger the safety of the flight, according to the Associated Press.

A.G. Gill, another analyst of these matters for whom I have great respect, creator and host of the Daily Beans and Mueller She Wrote podcasts, argues caution for another reason. She feels there are efforts afoot to turn public opinion against Garland and DOJ as a way of weakening and discrediting these institutions.

And yet Garland’s behavior to date has left me apprehensive. Conversations I have had with folks inside DOJ have not eased those concerns. There, frustration with Garland begins with his management style (which insiders liken to that of a judge running his chambers in which his office is a kind of bubble apart from the department and staffed by a small team akin to the clerks he had when he was in the judiciary).

It extends to concerns that he will err too far in the name of caution and a desire not to be perceived as political. This too is a hold-over from his court days and ignores that A) he is a political appointee, B) the issues he is dealing with are hyper-politicized and c) there is no way to prosecute politicians for crimes committed in the name of partisanship without appearing political.

But, still, I’ll admit it. I hear our judicial clock ticking as loudly as Mona Lisa Vito’s biological clock. Given that the stakes are so high and seeing some of the decisions Garland has made, I am wondering when it is ok to become alarmed, when it is ok to become angry.

I asked Slate senior editor and host of the “Amicus” podcast, Dahlia Lithwick whether my burgeoning anger was acceptable, and she responded: “I was already pretty ok about getting mad at this last summer. It’s possible to admire and honor all the good and vitally necessary initiatives undertaken by Garland’s DOJ, to rejoice in his principled efforts to reinstate the wall between the Justice Department and the White House that Bill Barr and Donald Trump had reduced to a picket fence, and still to be maddened by the DOJ’s evident hope that a reckoning over Trump’s lawlessness can be left to prosecutors in New York and the Congress.

The case for optimism about American democracy

  The case for optimism about American democracy Why Fareed Zakaria believes the American experiment is flawed but resilient.Democracy panic is its own genre of journalism at this point, and for good reasons. After the last five years, it’s impossible not to worry about the future of democracy, not just in the US but across the globe.

She continued, making an important historical point: “When the Obama Administration opted to draw a line under the Bush era torture and rendition programs, it didn’t disappear the past, it just buried it. And given that Trump’s election denialism is emphatically not in the past -- according to a November poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, 68 % of Republicans believe the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump. That growing number doesn’t just foment doubt in election integrity and the rule of law, it’s being used to pass election suppression and democracy subversion measures in states around the country. The ‘big lie’ that seeded Jan. 6 has become the litmus test for GOP loyalty. I understand that the optics of prosecuting one’s political enemies and criminalizing fiery speech and politics is a chilling callback to the McCarthy era. But the lies and violence and white supremacy and misogyny of Jan. 6 isn’t buried in the past, it’s metastasizing and spreading in ways that threaten the future as well.”

Laurence Tribe Reuters © Provided by The Daily Beast Laurence Tribe Reuters

Revered legal scholar, Lawrence Tribe, who taught Garland when the attorney general was a student at Harvard Law School, suggests we give his former student a little more time, but not an unlimited amount. He hears the clock ticking too. Tribe said to me, “If Merrick Garland hadn’t authorized the Bannon indictment when he did, I’d certainly have gotten mad long since. At least with respect to someone like me, he bought a few weeks with that indictment—but not a few months.”

“All things considered,” he continued, “I’ll be both disappointed and angry if we find ourselves going into January 2022 without strong evidence — in a town that leaks like a sieve — that DOJ is moving full speed ahead on holding Trump and his enablers, facilitators, funders and co-conspirators criminally accountable for the coup d’etat they tried to pull off and the violent insurrection they mounted against the Capitol to delay, obstruct and, if possible, subvert the solemn electoral proceeding there underway.”

That too, makes sense to me. What is certain is this: Time is running out. There is every reason to fear that Trump and the coup plotters will not be held accountable in any meaningful way. If they are not, they will see the inaction of our justice system as a license to continue their attacks on our system of government. What is more, absent an effective Department of Justice effort, those attacks are that much more likely to succeed and to be compounded by even greater abuses. And at that point, all the institutionalists in the world will not be able to put our Humpty Dumpty of a democracy back together again.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Fact check: FBI is not using threat tags on parents who protest at school board meetings .
The FBI created tags to track threats against school officials, according to an email exchange between FBI personnel.The nature of the FBI's work in that sphere came into question Nov. 16, when Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote a letter to Garland saying House Republicans received information from a whistleblower that the FBI was using a specific "threat tag" to track potential investigations.

usr: 8
This is interesting!