By Ilan Hulkower. Media: DC Enquirer.
Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author’s opinion.
Yesterday was a tough day for Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, as Republican Senators hone in on how politicized the Department of Justice has become. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) had rather revealing exchanges with the attorney general on the Department’s lackadaisical handling of pro-abortion Supreme Court picketers. Picketing or parading before a judge’s house in an attempt to influence a current case is illegal under the law. Yet, as both Lee and Cruz noted, no prosecution of the picketers followed.
As Senator Lee phrased it “[e]ver since the leak of the Dobbs opinion and then the issuance of the Dobbs opinion [which sent abortion back to the states]…we have had protestors who have been showing up to homes of Supreme Court justices carrying signs, picketing, and shouting. It is very clear they’re trying to influence…those serving on the United States Supreme Court…Yet, not one person to my knowledge has been prosecuted for such things.”
Garland deflected by saying that it was up to the US Marshals, as well as state and local authorities on whether to arrest someone.
Senator Cruz followed up by asking, “Have you brought a single case against any of these protesters threatening [Justice Brett Kavanaugh]? Have you brought even one?”
Garland again deflected by saying that he sent 70 Marshals in.
The Texan Republican heatedly rephrased the question, “Let me try again. Has the Department of Justice brought even a single case under the statute? It’s a yes-no question. It’s not an [invitation to] give a speech on those other things you did.”
Garland was yet again evasive and did not answer the question.
Cruz then responded, “So the answer is no. The answer is no. Why aren’t you willing to say no? You know it’s no; I know it’s no; everyone in this hearing room knows it’s no. You’re not willing to answer the question. Have you brought a case under the statute, yes or no?”
Finally, Garland admitted that “[a]s far as I know, we haven’t.” He then unhelpfully added that “[w]hat we have done is defended the lives of the justices with 70 U.S. Marshals.”
Mr. Cruz later tweeted, “Joe Biden and Merrick Garland are perfectly happy to have violent protesters threaten judges in an attempt to get the rulings they want.” Senator Cruz called Garland the most political and partisan attorney general that he has ever seen in the video clip he attached to his tweet.
Joe Biden and Merrick Garland are perfectly happy to have violent protesters threaten judges in an attempt to get the rulings they want. pic.twitter.com/AjICPm5ieL
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 2, 2023
Such a lackadaisical approach to the enforcement of law does not extend toward those protesting Planned Parenthood as in the case of the arrest and prosecution of Mark Houck. As Senator Hawley (R-MO) noted about this case when he asked “[w]hy did the Justice Department do this? Why did you send 20-30 SWAT-style agents, SWAT-style team to this guy’s house when everybody else had declined to prosecute and he offered to turn himself in?”
Mr. Garland again repeated his pattern of dodging the question while merely saying that he disagreed with Hawley’s description of what happened. As a senior FBI source told Fox News “that there may have been 15-20 agents at the scene but denied 25 were there.”
Senator Hawley then noted that the jury acquitted Mr. Houck after only one hour of deliberation. Hawley later tweeted that “Merrick Garland has turned the DOJ into a political hit team for Joe Biden. There is no more impartial DOJ – the White House is using law enforcement to do its bidding.”
Merrick Garland has turned the DOJ into a political hit team for Joe Biden. There is no more impartial DOJ – the White House is using law enforcement to do its bidding pic.twitter.com/yCN7io4uM5
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 2, 2023
The evasive answers provided by Mr. Garland on these serious matters and the clear disparate uses of forces in those aforementioned different situations certainly do not bode well for his case that his Department is non-partisan and not weaponized or politicized.