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Garland Emphasizes Independence: DOJ Asserts Autonomy, Defends Against External Influence

September 20, 2023

Photo Credit: The Hill

In a recent appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Merrick Garland staunchly defended the independence of the Justice Department (DOJ) amidst increasing friction with the GOP. This marked his first appearance before the committee since the Republican takeover of the lower chamber.

Garland emphasized that the DOJ’s role is not to follow political convenience or take orders from the President, Congress, or anyone else regarding criminal investigations. He firmly stated, “I am not the president’s lawyer. I am not Congress’s prosecutor.”

He also addressed the scrutiny and criticism directed at the DOJ, asserting that they will not be intimidated and will continue to perform their duties free from outside interference.

The House Judiciary Committee, engaged in an impeachment inquiry of President Biden, has focused on investigating the alleged “weaponization” of the federal government, often centering on the DOJ. Some committee members have accused the DOJ of promoting a “two-tiered system of justice” by prosecuting former President Trump.

“There is not one set of laws for the powerful and another for the powerless; one for the rich, another for the poor; one for Democrats, another for Republicans; or different rules, depending upon one’s race or ethnicity or religion,” he says. As part of its oversight of the Justice Department, Jordan has requested interviews with a number of DOJ personnel, including those working on the Biden case.

Garland pushed back on claims that the DOJ’s work has been politicized, reaffirming their commitment to the equal application of the law, emphasizing that the same laws apply to everyone.

While acknowledging the importance of public scrutiny and oversight, Garland cautioned against singling out individual career public servants who are simply doing their jobs, particularly in a climate of increased threats to their safety and that of their families.

Credit: The Hill



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