Garland Issues Memo Shielding Political Candidates From DOJ Inquiries

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  revillug  •  4 weeks ago  •  20 comments

By:   Chris Walker (Truthout)

Garland Issues Memo Shielding Political Candidates From DOJ Inquiries
The directive requires any inquiry into candidates running for president to be approved by the attorney general first.


The memo, which was first reported on by  MSNBC  host Rachel Maddow,  demands that investigators receive written permission from the attorney general  before opening inquiries into individuals running for president or vice president, or into senior members involved in their political campaigns. It also limits what DOJ officials can say or how they can proceed in an investigation of such persons. The memo, which was written in May of this year, reiterates policy that was implemented by former Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President Donald Trump. At the time, many viewed Barr’s memo, crafted in February 2020,  as being in response to Trump’s continued anger  toward inquiries involving him or his underlings, and how those investigations could paint a negative portrayal of him during that year’s presidential race. Many decried the policy as it would allow individuals like Trump and those connected to him  a “free pass” from investigations during an election year , or for as long as Trump remained a political figure and not a private citizen.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Bonnie Cash / Pool / AFP via Getty Images By Chris Walker, Truthout Published July 19, 2022 Share

A Department of Justice (DOJ) memo approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland extends a policy, which originated under the Trump administration, on how the department can investigate political candidates, potentially giving the former president added protection from federal inquiries as he considers another run for office.

The memo, which was first reported on by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, demands that investigators receive written permission from the attorney general before opening inquiries into individuals running for president or vice president, or into senior members involved in their political campaigns. It also limits what DOJ officials can say or how they can proceed in an investigation of such persons.

The memo, which was written in May of this year, reiterates policy that was implemented by former Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President Donald Trump. At the time, many viewed Barr's memo, crafted in February 2020, as being in response to Trump's continued anger toward inquiries involving him or his underlings, and how those investigations could paint a negative portrayal of him during that year's presidential race. Many decried the policy as it would allow individuals like Trump and those connected to him a "free pass" from investigations during an election year, or for as long as Trump remained a political figure and not a private citizen.

It's not unusual for U.S. attorneys general to urge caution during elections, but Barr was reportedly the first to require investigators to obtain his permission before opening any inquiries into individuals running for president or vice president, or those involved in their campaigns.

Within his memo, Garland, who faces steep criticism for not doing more to investigate or indict Trump for the former president's past misdeeds, seeks to continue the policy started by Barr.

"The Department of Justice has a strong interest in the prosecution of election-related crimes, such as those involving federal and state campaign finance laws, federal patronage laws, and corruption of the election process," the memo states. "As Department employees, however, we must be particularly sensitive to safeguarding the Department's reputation for fairness, neutrality, and non-partisanship."

Just like Barr, Garland requires investigators who believe they may even face "the appearance of an issue" regarding the timing of statements or steps they take in inquiries to "contact the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division ("PIN") for further guidance." Any new investigation must be signed off by Garland, the memo says, citing the guidance created by Barr in 2020.

The memo doesn't preclude investigations from happening against political figures. However, it slows the process down, and requires more steps that many view as unnecessary to opening inquiries against individuals investigators believe may have committed a crime.

The policy could play a huge role in any inquiries that DOJ officials may open (or have already opened) against Trump, especially if he decides sooner rather than later to announce his candidacy for president in 2024. Trump is reportedly considering doing so as soon as this fall, in part because he believes it will stave off potential investigations or indictments against him.

Critics warned that the continuation of Barr's policy will do no good for the country, as it will allow Trump and others to avoid being held accountable for their actions, particularly those relating to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"If Merrick Garland hides behind the institutional concern about not appearing partisan and lets Trump slip away by declaring himself a presidential candidate, he will do serious harm to rule of law and the principle no one is above the law," said journalist Steven Beschloss.

Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali agreed that the memo created the strong potential for Trump to face no repercussions for his involvement in the Capitol attack, or his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

"As predicted, nothing will happen to Trump and his associates, traitors who tried to overthrow our democracy. They'll all fail up," Ali tweeted. "Why? To protect 'institutions' that have long since failed the American people."

"It is profoundly unlikely that there will be any indictments of Trump or anyone related to his campaign before the midterms, and if Trump declares for 2024 in the coming weeks, as he has indicated he plans to do, the likelihood that he will be indicted or prosecuted before the next presidential election is slim to none," Elizabeth McLaughlin, CEO of Gaia Project for Women's Leadership, wrote in her newsletter. "And that, of course, will mean there will be no accountability at all."

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Revillug
Freshman Guide
1  seeder  Revillug    4 weeks ago

Do you ever find yourself wondering if the Democrats are a political party that is paid to blow it on purpose?

Sort of like the Democrats are the Washington Generals and the GOP are the Harlem Globetrotters?

Well, if you do, then you have been paying attention.

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
1.1  squiggy  replied to  Revillug @1    4 weeks ago

“If everyone reading this chipped in five bucks we'd be able to end our fundraiser today…”

No, their cheerleaders have to get out and sell cookies, too.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Revillug @1    4 weeks ago

"Do you ever find yourself wondering if the Democrats are a political party that is paid to blow it on purpose?"

Why do you say this bullshit?

Why would a sane and rational person think that?

I don't expect an answer though.  

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    4 weeks ago

Merrick Garland already approved the ongoing Trump Investigations!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JBB @2    4 weeks ago

Unrelated matter.

It prevents future attempts to start illegal investigations like the Trump-Putin collusion hoax.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.1.1  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @2.1    4 weeks ago

It does not stop AG from initiating investigations.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Greg Jones @2.1    4 weeks ago

Illegal investigations

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hoax

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Revillug
Freshman Guide
2.2  seeder  Revillug  replied to  JBB @2    4 weeks ago
Merrick Garland already approved the ongoing Trump Investigations!

Whatever that means.

What it certainly doesn't mean is that he will be opening any new lines of inquiry in response to the congressional hearings that are being held right now.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.2.1  JBB  replied to  Revillug @2.2    4 weeks ago

Where does it say that?

 
 
 
Revillug
Freshman Guide
2.2.2  seeder  Revillug  replied to  JBB @2.2.1    4 weeks ago

Because the memo fully absorbs William Barr's memo of Feb 5, 2020.

On what planet does it look like the DOJ is planning to do its job with regard to Donald Trump? They are running out of time because they never intended to get the job done in the first place.

All this rationalizing sounds exactly like how Democrats sounded when it was "just wait until the Mueller Report comes out."

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2.3  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @2.2.1    4 weeks ago

It doesn't.  Some folks just make shit up.  Like the first post in this 'article'.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
3  Nerm_L    4 weeks ago

This administrative policy also addresses the investigation of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.  The DOJ and FBI had become embroiled in politics that threatened the independence of the Justice Dept.  So, this move isn't really about Trump.  It's about DOJ avoiding oversight and remaining independent.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
3.1  bccrane  replied to  Nerm_L @3    4 weeks ago

Bingo, because the article is polluted with Trump everyone assumes this is a move to help Trump because if he announces his run for president they can no longer investigate him, but who else will it protect from investigations, Hillary, Biden, Harris, etc.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
3.2  Ronin2  replied to  Nerm_L @3    4 weeks ago

Garland is already giving Biden an out- should he choose to really run again in 2024.

This is going to slow the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation even further. Since a portion of that investigation involves money laundering and pay for play. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.2.1  Tessylo  replied to  Ronin2 @3.2    4 weeks ago

What Hunter Biden investigation?

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Nerm_L
PhD Principal
3.2.2  Nerm_L  replied to  Ronin2 @3.2    4 weeks ago
This is going to slow the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation even further. Since a portion of that investigation involves money laundering and pay for play. 

Hunter Biden is not a candidate for any office.  So, this administrative policy doesn't affect an investigation of Hunter Biden.

Both Mueller and Durham revealed that the FBI had become politicized and that the investigative authority of the FBI was being abused to meddle in politics.  The FBI investigation of Clinton was being used politically to influence public opinion during an election.  Clinton's manipulation of the FBI to investigate Trump was being used politically to influence public opinion during an election.

James Comey screwed the political pooch and Garland is trying to fix it.  James Comey opened the door for FBI meddling in politics and that also opened the door for political campaigns to meddle in the FBI.  The FBI and DOJ had become politicized which meant the FBI and DOJ were no longer politically independent.  An independent Attorney General wields enormous power in government and losing that independence means a loss of power.  Garland is addressing that loss of independent power.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.2.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Nerm_L @3.2.2    4 weeks ago
Hunter Biden is not a candidate for any office.  So, this administrative policy doesn't affect an investigation of Hunter Biden.

Bullseye!

And Joe Biden isn't on the ballot in November.  So the media and now the DOJ are going to bury this thing in 2 key elections.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
3.2.4  Nerm_L  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.2.3    4 weeks ago
And Joe Biden isn't on the ballot in November.  So the media and now the DOJ are going to bury this thing in 2 key elections.

The FBI won't be making any public statements about an investigation of Hunter Biden.  Which means that any such investigation won't be used to influence public opinion during an election.

An independent DOJ has power over the Presidency and Congress.  That is what Garland is trying to regain and protect.  Garland wants the DOJ to have the same autonomous autocratic power as SCOTUS.  Garland was a Federal judge and understands absolute autocratic power.  All of this is really about DOJ becoming a fourth branch of government.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.2.5  Vic Eldred  replied to  Nerm_L @3.2.4    4 weeks ago
That is what Garland is trying to regain and protect.

You really believe that?

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4  Tessylo    4 weeks ago

Ya!  We're still waiting for those Durham indictments on the Obama administration.

Is that how long we'll have to wait for the Hunter Biden indictments and trials?

Like never?

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