Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

What Do You Think of Attorney General Merrick Garland?

            Attorney General Merrick Garland sat before a Senate committee this week. He faced tough questions about his memo directing the FBI to check out the “domestic engineers” otherwise known as parents speaking out at school board meetings.

Some Senators sounded as though they wanted to jump down Garland’s throat, and he looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a vehicle at times. Fred Lucas took the following six things away from the hearing. 

1. Defending His Schools Memo

Testifying to the House Judiciary Committee last week, Garland defended his memo directing the FBI and Justice Department personnel to investigate parents who speak out at school board meetings as a response to a letter to Biden from the National School Boards Association.

The NSBA apologized, however, following a public row over the letter in which multiple state chapters of the group representing school board members distanced themselves from language calling for use of the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism laws to act against angry parents….

2. ‘Thank God You’re Not on Supreme Court’

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., unloaded on Garland. 

“When you crafted that memo, did you consult with senior leadership at the FBI?” Cotton asked about the instructions on working with local school officials and law enforcement. …

Cotton [asked several questions and] seemed to become frustrated. 

“Judge, this is shameful. This testimony, your directive, your performance is shameful,” Cotton said. “Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court. You should resign in disgrace, Judge.” …

3. ‘Multimillion-Dollar Bill’ for FBI’s McCabe

Grassley asked why the Justice Department settled with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired in 2018 for repeatedly lying under oath, according to the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and its Office of Professional Responsibility. 

Despite that, the Justice Department reached a settlement with McCabe in his lawsuit to overturn his firing, and allowed him to retire and keep his taxpayer-funded pension….

4. ‘Not Constrained’ From Pursuing Conservatives

Garland said the Justice Department is “not constrained” from investigating multiple conservative organizations such as the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Honest Elections Project, and others as part of the investigation into the Capitol riot….

5. Need for Ethics Opinion on Son-in-Law’s Job

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, noted that Garland’s son-in-law, Alexander Tanner, is an executive with Panorama Education, a company that makes money off the use of critical race theory in schools.

The teaching of critical race theory, or using it to frame lessons, is a major issue that parents protest at local school board meetings. 

“Did you seek and receive a decision from an ethics adviser at DOJ before you carried out an action that would have a predictable financial benefit to your son-in-law?” Cruz asked Garland.

Garland seemed to dodged the question a bit before answering: “This has no predictable effect on what we are talking about.”

When Cruz pressed, Garland said of his instructions to the FBI and other Justice Department personnel: “This memorandum has nothing to do with critical race theory.”

Garland did not directly answer no as Cruz kept asking: “Did you seek an ethics opinion?”

“I’m telling you if I thought there was a reason to believe there was a conflict of interest, I would do that,” Garland said.

6. Protecting Durham Investigation

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked whether the report from special counsel John Durham, who is investigating the origins of various probes of Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, would be made public. 

“His budget has been approved, as I have already announced,” Garland said, “and with respect to the report, I would like as much as possible to be made public. I have to be concerned about Privacy Act concerns and declassification. But other than that, our commitment is to provide a public report, yes.”

Blackburn followed up by asking: “Can you guarantee this committee that Special Counsel Durham has free rein to proceed wherever his investigation takes him, without any political or otherwise undue influence or interference?”

The attorney general answered succinctly. 

“There will be no political or undue interference,” he said.

            Garland seems to me to be a political hack, as shown by his memo to the FBI calling parents “domestic terrorists.” I feel certain that the Biden administration and their supporters do not like the fact that parents are aware of what is happening in school. Parents love their children, and most of them get upset when people use and abuse them.

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