When are Merrick Garland and his DOJ going to open criminal probes not only into Trump’s efforts to overthrow the government, but also into the endless corruption among Trump’s Cabinet members? When?
Garland may prove to be Biden’s most consequential Cabinet pick — for all the wrong reasons. Not one Cabinet member from the Trump administration has been held to account for the blatant corruption that Bill Barr refused to prosecute. Not one. And never mind Trump’s own corrupt and anti-democratic, anti-Constitutional actions. There has been zero accountability for criminal behavior in the previous administration, at least at the Cabinet level or above.
I understand Biden’s desire to “reunite” the country, and that this mistaken and naive desire for kumbaya means not looking backward, but without some accountability and consequences for the rampant and reckless corruption of the previous administration, Biden and Garland are sending a dangerous and highly destructive message to the country: Corruption at the highest levels of government will not only be tolerated and accepted, it will be ignored.
I wrote back when Garland was the rumored pick for AG that he would be a mistake. I argued for a “hammer” at DOJ, a Sally Yates or a Preet Bharara, a hard-nosed prosecutor type who would turn over every rock and follow the evidence, wherever it led.
I wrote back on November 21, 2020:
I understand Joe Biden’s desire to “unite the country” following the horrific Trump years. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a pipe dream, but I do not doubt Biden’s sincerity in making his desire known.
But one place that desire should not carry over is to the DOJ.
Post-Trump, the DOJ needs an absolute hammer at the helm. Someone who is not worried about making sure “we all get along.”
After the corruption of the department under Bill Barr where investigations and prosecutions of bad actors associated with Trump were deferred, buried or defanged, career prosecutors and members of the FBI are ready to go. They want to be unleashed on known targets, including our primary domestic terrorism threats — white supremacists and militia groups.
The public corruption in the Trump administration has been astounding and the failure to prosecute it, particularly since Barr moved into his role, has been equally astounding — and frustrating.
Now is not the time to make nice. The rule of law needs to be reestablished in a very big way.
What Garland and Biden seem intent on proving is that there are no consequences for corruption in the Executive Branch. And that is a deadly mistake for our nation and for our democracy.
These sorts of investigations should not be left to the legislative branch. These are criminal behaviors subject to the laws of the United States and should be treated as such by Garland and the DOJ.
And, no, I don’t believe there are “secret plans” afoot to bring these sorts of charges against Trump and/or anyone in his Cabinet. If there were, the legislative investigations would take a back seat to the official criminal investigations.
I believe the failure of Garland and Biden to pursue criminal charges against Trump and members of Cabinet (Wilbur Ross at the very least) will reap dire consequences for all of us. I am disgusted and saddened by this lack of accountability and for the failure to reestablish the rule of law.