Merrick Garland is not the Attorney General who can save democracy from the ongoing authoritarian coup by the forces who use the GOP as its battering ram. He’s not a wartime consigliere. A man of excellent reputation, he seems to believe, like Robert Mueller before him, that once the full truth comes out, in detail, America will embrace it. He believes this at a time when repeating a disproven lie about a rigged stolen election won by the loser in a landslide is a litmus test for one of our two major political parties. He proves this idealistic belief to America by hesitating, for three months now, to present the indictment of Mark Meadows to a grand jury (as required by law after a referral from Congress) for what he indisputably did by telling Congress Trump said to fuck off with their dirty little subpoena.
The DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden, seemingly over tax evasion matters, is in the news lately, competing with the shocking stories that the wife of conservative Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas is an insane, highly paid, influential Q-Anon activist/religious fanatic with close ties to the Trump White House, who was active in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, who influences her husband’s ethical decisions and that Trump is hiding seven hours and thirty seven minutes of White House phone logs, covering the Capitol riot and its immediate aftermath, from the January 6th investigation (which the Supreme Court justice in question seemingly believes, alone among his Federalist Society peers, the former president has every right to do).
It has also been reported recently that the DOJ is slowly working its way up the insurrection food chain, they’ve got the people Trump hired to stage the event to set off the storming of the Capitol in their grand jury crosshairs now, we are told and that, by and by, we may even find out that Trump hired these people. This is supposed to be reassuring, somehow, as Biden and the Democratic agenda is hamstrung by a Republican-controlled Senate (you only need to buy two Democrats when it’s 50-50 and you can filibuster to your little heart’s content). Biden can’t even get money allocated by Congress to keep fighting covid.
When the news broke in 1974 that Nixon’s secretary had “accidentally” deleted 18 minutes of incriminating Oval Office audio recordings, Barry Goldwater, a radical right extremist Republican senator (in his day) went to Nixon, with a contingent of other Republicans, and told him it was time for him to resign. Congress was going to impeach him if he didn’t quit and these Republicans were going to vote to convict him. Nixon promptly left office, to be reborn as an elder statesman. There are no Republicans currently in office (outside of the two purged members on the House January 6th Committee) who would do anything so “disloyal” to their lockstep smash-mouth party in 2022. Not if they value their political careers.
Obstruction of justice is action taken to derail a legal proceeding or investigation. It is a felony. Nixon hiding evidence against him was classic obstruction of justice, something Nixon grasped immediately, as a lawyer. It was once perfectly understood that the rule of law means nothing if powerful people can obstruct investigations into their corrupt actions. If a person intentionally acts in a way to hide their misdeeds, by destroying evidence, intimidating witnesses, threatening officials, rewarding liars who protect them, they are guilty of obstruction of justice. The obstructive acts may be a mix of legal and illegal measures and we are told that intent to obstruct justice can be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt sometimes. One standard way to prove intent to obstruct justice is by showing a pattern of behavior calculated to thwart the administration of justice. Here’s a famous example:
Trump asks FBI director Comey for personal loyalty, in a creepy one on one meeting early in Trump’s presidency. He asks Comey to let Flynn go for simply making a mistake, for those lies he told and swore were true. It is within the president’s power to fire an FBI director, so when Comey balks at taking a loyalty oath to the president, Trump fires him. The next day he hosts an Oval Office celebration with a contingent of Russians, with the press excluded, to gloat that the Flynn-Russher thing is now over. Soon thereafter his own DOJ appoints a Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump’s many ties to the Russians and their many acts to help him narrowly win a surgically crafted Electoral College majority and the presidency. Trump obstructs the investigation at every step because, you know, Article Two, which is as all-powerful as the sacred Second Amendment itself.
The Special Prosecutor documents ten instances of this obstruction of justice, including the lies told by Trump associates under oath, men who Trump later pardons. Mueller states that he cannot exonerate Trump for these apparent crimes but that it would be unfair to accuse him of obstruction, in spite of the evidence, while he’s in office. He writes that once Trump is out of office he can be prosecuted for these felonious acts.
Trump was upset with his “weak” Attorney General Jeff Sessions who had recused himself after he lied about his own ties to Russia during the campaign and early in the Trump presidency. After moaning that he was fucked, he kept badgering Sessions to “unrecuse” himself and fire Mueller. That Sessions was following “ethics” rules about recusal was an infuriating betrayal to Trump, who changed the norm to anything beyond a crime that would 100% result in prison time being perfectly cool, for loyal members of his party (others should be locked up with or without trials). Bill Barr auditioned for the Attorney General job by sending Trump a memo about how he’d rule that the basis for Mueller’s investigation is “untenable”. Trump hired Barr and they announced that the Mueller Report was a complete and total exoneration of Trump, for everything. Nothing to see here. Liberals lose, go back to gnashing your teeth, hapless, weak, woke cucks.
Fast forward a few years and a re-election bid Trump lost, in spite of every effort to rig it in his favor by limiting absentee voting, and slowing down mail delivery, during the most deadly phase of the pandemic and spreading lies about massive election fraud. Trump removed fifteen boxes of sensitive information from the White House, including Top Secret documents, when he left office, petulant about still being the president in spite of his substantial loss in the election. For over a year his lawyers negotiated with Biden’s DOJ about those boxes and returning the stolen contents to the National Archives. Negotiated… with an ex-president who committed an illegal act, over what he’d give back, how much more time he needed to finish photocopying everything, etc. Negotiated.
When Ginni Thomas’s texts to Mark Meadows were revealed the other day, with Meadows reassuring her that the King of Kings would rule in favor of good over the wickedness of the corrupt Left, it was another proof of what Trump has been insisting on all along — when the evidence comes out, the best people can get fucked. You hide that dangerous material! No tax return, no school transcripts, no White House visitor logs, no phone logs, no disclosures from anyone he forced to sign an NDA, no financial statements, no obeying subpoenas, no top secret documents returned without first laywering up and delaying it by a year, nothing. Article Two and Bill Barr, bitches.
So, the only logical thing is to negotiate with him over how much he wants to compromise. If he doesn’t want to be reasonable, there’s really no way the Department of Justice can force him to. We have the rule of law here, after all, all of us who embrace this ideal must remain above the appearance of political motive, even when we’re locked up in Gitmo.