This confession might play out very badly for Garland in the near future.
In a recent interview broadcast on Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland shockingly claimed that he would resign if President Biden were to instruct him to direct the Justice Department to pursue former President Trump. Garland’s remarks came during a discussion on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program, where he responded to allegations that he aimed to impact Trump’s potential re-election in 2024 through the timing of DOJ investigations and indictments.
According to Fox, Garland vehemently refuted these claims, asserting that Justice Department prosecutors operate without partisan bias and do not allow political considerations to influence their decisions. He clarified that the appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith to lead the Trump investigation adheres to regulations ensuring independence from day-to-day supervision by anyone within the Justice Department. Garland affirmed that he maintains no communication with the President or any of his staff concerning Trump’s case.
When asked by CBS News host Scott Pelley how he would react if President Biden requested action regarding the Trump investigation, Garland expressed confidence that such a scenario would not occur and people remained suspicious. Nevertheless, he declared that he would refuse to take any such action and would even consider resigning if necessary.
Throughout the “60 Minutes” interview, Garland emphasized that he had never needed to tell President Biden to refrain from interfering with the investigations because the President had not attempted to do so.
Concurrently, Republicans have accused DOJ Special Counsel David Weiss of prolonging the investigation into Hunter’s business activities and tax matters, condemning what they perceive as the politicization of the Justice Department. Hunter has faced indictment for providing false information regarding drug use during a firearm purchase, although his plea deal collapsed over the summer.
Garland clarified that the Hunter investigation commenced under David Weiss, a career prosecutor appointed by President Trump as the United States Attorney for the District of Delaware. Garland assured that he had promised during his nomination hearing to allow Weiss to continue in his role and not interfere in the investigation.
When asked whether he was involved in decisions related to the Hunter probe, Garland firmly denied any such involvement, asserting that Mr. Weiss was making those determinations. He further refuted any allegations of White House interference in these decisions.
Garland pledged to make a forthcoming special counsel report on these matters public to the extent permitted by the law, providing explanations for prosecutorial decisions and strategic choices along the way. He also mentioned his anticipation that Weiss would testify upon concluding his report.
In addition to the Hunter investigation, President Biden is under DOJ scrutiny for his handling of classified documents following his tenure as vice president. Special Counsel Robert Hur has been appointed to oversee this case. Meanwhile, former President Trump faces two federal indictments, one related to the alleged retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and another concerning his actions during the January 6 Capitol riot.
Garland affirmed his positive working relationship with President Biden during the interview. He displayed emotion when addressing concerns about the violence directed toward judges and prosecutors assigned to Trump-related cases, emphasizing the imperative of avoiding violence and threats to preserve democracy.
Citing his family’s history of fleeing religious persecution in Europe during the Holocaust, Garland underscored his commitment to public service and the rule of law. He stressed the importance of upholding a single standard of justice that follows the facts and the law, as required by the Constitution, while safeguarding civil liberties and treating all individuals fairly and equally.