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Tag: Attorney General

Judge Accuses Barr of Misleading Public about Special Counsel Investigation of Trump

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

A federal judge accused former Attorney General William Barr of deceiving the court and Congress public about a Justice Department memo clearing former President Trump of potential charges following the special counsel investigation.

In a blistering decision, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the release of the memo to a government transparency group that had requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, The New York Times reports

The Justice Department had argued that the memo was exempt from FOIA because it consisted of private legal advice that helped Barr decide whether Trump should be prosecuted.

But Jackson, who reviewed the unreacted memo, said that Barr and his aides had already decided Trump would not be prosecuted before Barr even reviewed the written advice. 

“The fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Jackson wrote of Trump.

Jackson also accused Barr of misleading the public about the 448-page special counsel report. 

“The attorney general’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball,” Jackson wrote.

Merrick Garland Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing on 26th Anniversary

Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Photo: DOJ)

Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged to crack down on domestic violent extremists in a speech commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. 

Garland, who led the prosecution of bomber Timothy McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols, said the same brand of domestic extremism still exists. 

“Although many years have passed, the terror perpetrated by people like Timothy McVeigh is still with us,” Garland said at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. “The Department of Justice is pouring its resources into stopping domestic violent extremists before they can attack, prosecuting those who do, and battling the spread of the kind of hate that leads to tragedies like the one we mark here today.”

Garland spoke about white supremacy during his confirmation hearing earlier this year, citing the Oklahoma City bombing. 

“I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the Federal Government,” Garland told lawmakers in February. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”

Read Garland’s full speech here.

Garland Sworn in As Attorney General, Vows to Restore Faith in DOJ

Attorney General Merrick Garland is sworn in. Photo via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General Merrick Garland was sworn-in Thursday and pledged to “adhere to norms” and restore the Justice Department’s reputation for political independence. 

“We are united by our commitment to protecting our country as our oath says, ‘from all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ And by our commitment to enforcing our country’s laws and to ensuring the civil rights and the civil liberties of our people,” Garland said in an address to the DOJ’s 115,000 employees on his first day of work. “The only way we can succeed and retain the trust of the American people is to adhere to the norms that have become part of the DNA of every Justice Department employee since Edward Levi’s stint as the first post-Watergate attorney general.” 

He concluded the speech by saying, “I am honored to work with you once again. Together, we will show the American people by word and deed that the Department of Justice pursues equal justice and adheres to the rule of law.”

Read Garland’s full speech here.

The Senate confirmed Garland on Wednesday with a 70-30 vote. 

Garland, 68, rose to national prominence in 2016 when President Obama nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Republicans denied him a hearing. 

Garland was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997. 

Garland is a graduate of Harvard University’s college and law school. 

Committee to Vote Today on Advancing Merrick Garland for AG Confirmation

Judge Merrick Garland, via White House.

By Steve Neavling

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote today on advancing Merrick Garland, President Biden’s pick for attorney general, to the full Senate for confirmation. 

Garland has bipartisan support and is expected to receive the committee’s approval for a full Senate vote. 

Garland testified before the committee last week during a two-day confirmation hearing. 

Garland, 68, rose to national prominence in 2016 when President Obama nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Republicans denied him a hearing. 

Garland was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997. 

Garland is a graduate of Harvard University’s college and law school.  

Merrick Garland Gets Confirmation Hearing Before Senate Judiciary Committee

Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

By Steve Neavling

Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday for the first day of a two-day confirmation hearing. 

Garland is expected to get bipartisan support. 

Garland, 68, rose to national prominence in 2016 when President Obama nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Republicans denied him a hearing. 

With Democrats now in control of the U.S. Senate, Republican won’t be able to block his nomination to serve as attorney general.  

Garland was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997. 

Garland is a graduate of Harvard University’s college and law school. 

Biden to Nominate Merrick Garland as Attorney General

Judge Merrick Garland, via White House.

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Merrick B. Garland, a widely respected federal judge, as attorney general.

Garland, 68, rose to national prominence in 2016 when President Obama nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Republicans denied him a hearing. 

With Democrats poised to take control of the U.S. Senate, Republican won’t be able to block his nomination to serve as attorney general.  

Garland was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997. 

Garland is a graduate of Harvard University’s college and law school. 

Barr Reportedly Considering Stepping Down Before Trump’s Term Ends

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General William Barr is considering resigning before the end of President Trump’s term, The New York Times reports, citing three sources familiar with the matter. 

Barr and Trump were generally on good terms until the attorney general said last week there was no evidence of widespread election fraud, contradicting the president’s baseless claims.

On Wednesday, Trump declined to say whether he still has confidence in Barr and repeated his disputed allegations of election crimes.

Barr, 70, was sworn in as attorney general on Feb. 19, three months after Sessions resigned under pressure. 

The sources told The Times it’s still possible Barr will remain in his position. 

If Barr steps down, he would be replaced by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. 

Barr Contradicts Trump on Election, Saying No Evidence of Widespread Fraud

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would alter the 2020 presidential election results. 

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told The Associated Press

Barr’s statement counters President Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud, which have led to lawsuits and hearings. 

In a statement, Trump’s lawyers Rudy Giuliani Jenna Ellis, discounted Barr’s comments.

“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been a semblance of a Department of Justice investigation,” they said. “We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”

Sen. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer responded, “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”

Last month, Barr directed U.S. attorneys nationwide to investigate any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities or fraud. Since then, Barr said, no evidence has surfaced.