Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has promised “transparency” and “justice without favor,” suffered stunning blows to his credibility this week as the FBI was shown to operate with political bias, and it was revealed that Garland ordered DOJ employees not to speak to members of Congress.
According to The Daily Wire, Garland’s memo to DOJ staff is to remind: “all Department personnel of our existing policies regarding communications between the Justice Department and Congress.”
Garland sought to justify his order by citing the central Justice Manual provision (JM 1-8 200.) That provision states, “Communications between the Department and Congress … will be managed or coordinated by OLA (Office of Legislative Affairs).”
Provision JM 1-8 200 continues:
“Except as provided in this chapter, no Department employee may communicate with Senators, Representatives, congressional committees, or congressional staff without advance coordination, consultation, and approval by OLA.”
Recognizing that Garland’s directive undermines his promise to operate with transparency, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) also directed a memo to DOJ employees:
“DOJ employees, take notice: No matter what this memo says, you are protected by federal law if you contact my office to blow the whistle on the improper politicization of the Department of Justice by Merrick Garland and Joe Biden.”
This is not the first time Cotton and Garland have been on different sides of the fence on an issue. The Daily Wire reports that in the fall of 2021, “Cotton blasted Garland, telling him he should ‘resign in disgrace’ for directing the FBI to investigate and potentially target “parents at school board meetings.”
Cotton’s strong rebuke came after it was revealed that Garland justified harassing parents by pointing to spurious “news reports” and a vague letter from the National School Boards Association.
Charging Garland with misrepresenting the facts, Cotton scolded the Attorney General:
“You keep citing news reports, and that’s the most prominent news report that anyone in America has seen. That refers to Scott Smith, whose 15-year-old daughter was raped. She was raped in a bathroom by a boy wearing girl’s clothes and the Loudoun County school board covered it up because it would’ve interfered with their transgender policy during Pride Month.”
Cotton continued: “And that man, Scott Smith, because he went to a school board and tried to defend his daughter’s rights, was condemned internationally. Do you apologize to Scott Smith and his 15-year-old daughter, judge?” Cotton asked.
Garland skirted the question saying: “Senator, anyone whose child was raped – the most horrific crime I can imagine – is certainly entitled and protected by the First Amendment to protest to their school board about this.”
The Daily Wire notes, “Garland repeatedly denied that the ‘news reports’ that served as the basis for the October 4 memo were not the same news reports referenced in the NSBA letter.” Many question the veracity of Garland’s statement as Garland himself referred to the letter to justify the directive to the FBI.
Cotton pressed Garland on that point:
“But he was cited by the school board association as a domestic terrorist which we now know that letter and those reports were the basis for your directive.”
Garland denied Cotton’s charge: “No, senator. That’s wrong,” Garland replied.
Amazed by Garland’s hubris, Cotton said: “This is shameful … this is shameful. This testimony, your directive, your performance is shameful. Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court. You should resign in disgrace.”
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