After Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice oversaw an FBI raid on the private home of former President Donald Trump, the 20 Republicans who joined Democrats to confirm Garland’s nomination as attorney general must emphatically condemn the nominee they once supported or voters should replace them in their primaries.
When Garland was confirmed in March 2021, only 30 of 50 Republican senators voted against it. The other 20 — Senators Blunt, Burr, Capito, Cassidy, Collins, Cornyn, Ernst, Graham, Grassley, Inhofe, Johnson, Lankford, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Portman, Romney, Rounds, Thune, and Tillis — all joined Democrats to approve Garland’s nomination.
Some of those 30, like Grassley and Johnson, have since strongly criticized Garland’s tenure as attorney general and had already condemned the raid by Tuesday morning, to their credit. But others have been conspicuously silent, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who praised Garland’s “long reputation as a straight-shooter and legal expert” at the time of his confirmation.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Garland “would be a sound choice to be the next Attorney General. He is a man of great character, integrity, and tremendous competency in the law.”
Although some tried to portray Garland as a “moderate,” he had already shown by the end of his confirmation hearings that he was far from it. In accepting Biden’s nomination, Reuters reported, “Garland said he believes the department’s top priorities will be ‘ensuring racial equity’ and ‘meeting the evolving threat of violent extremism.’” That’s easy code for pushing leftist race politics and targeting conservatives whom Garland views as a political threat.
In his hearing, Garland refused to answer “whether illegally entering the country should remain a crime.” He also refused to say whether he would protect female athletes from having their privacy and victories interrupted by men, and refused to commit to releasing special counsel John Durham’s report probing the Russia collusion hoax against Donald Trump. Those red flags and others contributed to opposition from senators like Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, Josh Hawley, Marsha Blackburn, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and others.
Cruz explained his “no” vote on Garland’s confirmation because Garland had “refused to make clear that he would stand against the politicization of the department, which we saw during the Obama-Biden years.” Scott called Garland a “radical” who might “politicize” the Department of Justice. In a scathing takedown of Garland’s positions, Cotton said that “when he did answer questions, he sounded more like a liberal ideologue who would embrace the radical agenda of the Democratic party’s far left base.”
“If confirmed,” Cotton added, “I’m afraid that he’ll enable extremists in the Justice Department to undermine our police, our Constitution, and our rule of law.”
Since his appointment, Garland has continued showing himself to be nothing but a partisan hack. One of his most stunning acts of corruption was the reliance on a letter from the National School Boards Association — since revealed to have been planted by the Biden Education Department — to sic the FBI on concerned parents showing up to school board meetings.
After the Supreme Court’s leaked Dobbs decision saw radical abortion activists firebombing and vandalizing pregnancy support clinics around the country, Garland put more public effort into opposing the decision than opposing the violence. He refused to enforce the law when demonstrators waged a pressure and intimidation campaign at justices’ private homes, culminating in an assassination attempt on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s life.
In other Supreme Court decisions too, the Garland DOJ has shown its politicization by “respectfully disagreeing” with outcomes it has no legitimate reason to comment on. It has raided other Republicans’ homes in an obvious lead-up to its Mar-a-Lago raid. And Garland has ignored whistleblower reports that the FBI covered up evidence against Hunter Biden in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election involving his father.
Under Garland, the DOJ refused to investigate the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents at the hands of incompetent blue state leaders who forced Covid patients into their facilities. Garland personally announced the DOJ’s lawsuit against Texas for its law protecting the lives of babies in utero after a heartbeat is detectable.
It’s obvious Merrick Garland is no “straight shooter,” and Republicans who aren’t actively opposing the political weaponization of his federal law enforcement agency are part of the problem. Voters should be watching how their elected representatives respond — or don’t — to his most recent and most outrageous abuse of power.