If you find it surprising that I’d defend Attorney General Merrick Garland I can understand. If you read my stuff you’ve seen me rip him to shreds almost every time. Even I’M surprised to find myself writing this. Still, for all the ugly and inappropriate statements Special Counsel Robert Hur included AG Garland had not choice but to release what Hur handed in. Yes, it was in my opinion (and lots of others) a political hit job geared at trashing the President and providing ammunition for his fellow GOPers in the 2024 campaign. Yes, it ignored longstanding DOJ policy (I’ll get to that) in “style” and Hur damn well knew it. But despite all that Garland had no choice but to release it as written.

WHY? That’s what your mind might well be screaming. It’s really not hard to explain. It’s one thing for the WH Counsel or Garland’s staff to suggest cleaning up typos or factual errors like dates or technicalities of law. It’s quite another to say something like Hey, THAT (and in this case more than once) is editorializing beyond the facts, and DOJ policy says that’s a no-no. Anyone who thinks Hur would have said yeah, you’re right and I should edit that out and pretend like he’d never written it, to never say anything to anyone either doesn’t know the law and system or is kidding themselves. Or both.

Hur made a number of politically damning statements about President Biden, some of which is discussed here by Reuters.  I don’t know if he intended to do so from the start but at some point he decided pretty much If I can’t get Biden legally via criminal prosecution I’ll get him by offering up political red meat so the GOP can trash him. That much is obvious. Maybe he was scared. Both for his career and personal safety because if he’d played it straight Trump/MAGA would be after his ass this very second. Whatever. What matters is that Hur at some point made a choice that he’d inject politics into his final report. When doesn’t matter so much as the fact he did.

The thing is, once Hur started circulating memo and eventual drafts of what would become his final report he couldn’t destroy any of it! Even if he wanted to. (Which of course he didn’t) Once he shared any of his thoughts about what should or should not be in the report, whether they wound up in notes taken by others in meetings, memos, draft language for parts of the report or drafts of a full final report every bit of it was a government record that had to be preserved.

That’s not just DOJ policy it’s the law. And Hur damned well knew it. He also is well-versed in DC and its politics and knew even if not “leaked” to GOPers at some point one or more Congressional Committees could obtain the draft. They could haul in Hur (and others) for testimony under oath about how he’d originally intended to say such-and-such in his final report but was “forced” “under pressure” to remove it. And of course every single change between the the final report and what he’d written in the final draft that became the final report that’s been release would be displayed on a big flat-screen in the hearing room(s)!

Here’s something else to keep in mind. Even if he’d wanted to had Hur tried to destroy anything he’d have risked firing and/or being blackballed from DOJ for the rest of his career. He’s only 50. However, he’d also have risked other consequences such as sanctions by any state Bar where he’s licensed, or even prosecution!  Not that I think Hur, once he’d decided to go down the road he chose ever had any second thoughts. He made his choice to shoot Biden full of political holes and that he could “piously” make some weak claim of “I realized I was out of line and rewrote the report to conform to policy/guidelines” and be off the hook. Oh he knew what he was doing was wrong, but it would please GOPers including and especially Trump.

Anyway, he handed in what he handed in. You think GOPers are howling with delight? Just imagine how they’d be howling in OUTRAGE if Garland had told Hur:

Look, you know damn well what DOJ policy is. You take a couple of hundred pages to get to it but eventually you say there’s no evidence President Biden willfully committed acts that are indictable. You literally say the evidence isn’t there to support a prosecution. That is ALL you have to say to justify why there won’t be any prosecution recommended.  So, first take out this willfully retained classified information allegation you make early on. Yes you know damn well most folks who want to try actually start reading the report will stop long before you admit you don’t have evidence.  That they’ll get tired of reading government legalese and figure they know all they need to know.

Then, move that part you BURIED deep in the report up front where it should be. Again, that part about not having evidence to support prosecution is ALL you need to say to justify why no charges will be brought. And, while were sitting here read aloud to me this passage from DOJ guidelines about NOT including editorial opinions and personal judgements. Comey embarrassed the DOJ with that kind of shit and affected an election. YOU are a goddamned Special Counsel and as such should be especially mindful that kind of crap crosses the line.  Now go back to your office and rewrite this and do it right as in stick to the facts and the law. And leave the personal shit out of it.

You know, you KNOW a butt-hurt Hur would have told pals on Capitol Hill and we’d be off to the races already. The cries of DEEP STATE, COVER UP and too many others (feel free to imagine though) would be so loud as to wake the dead. Hur knew this, and so did Garland. And Hur knew that Garland knew. The evil little son-of-a-bitch didn’t “sneak” that crap into his report – he brazenly included it with a DARE to Garland: There. I said it. I know I should have and you know I shouldn’t have said that stuff. But it’s done, official and there’s NOTHING you can do about it and you know it.  For good measure he could have even added And remember, even if you hadn’t promised to release any Special Counsel reports that might be written during your tenure you know full well if you try to keep THIS one under wraps you won’t be able to. And you and the President will look that much worse for trying.

Much as I hate to say it Garland’s hands were tied. Hell, being an old-school sort who wanted so badly to return things to the old days he’s probably “fit to be tied” to use an old expression. But Garland had no choice. Angry as the report made him, even President Biden knows Garland had no choice.

So have at Garland on any number of things because he sure as hell is worthy of scathing criticism. Just not this time.

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  1. Understood. Anything and everything legally possible to be done to Hur should be done. And, once we have a new Dem presidency and are finished with the smelly mango monstrosity, it’s time to DUMP Garland like the steaming turd he’s shown himself to be. NEVER, EVER put ANY “conservative” in ANY office for ANYTHING, EVER again. You can’t trust ANY of them to do the right thing. PERIOD.

  2. All that being said…how is it Barr lies about Robert Mueller’s report and walks without anyone doing anything about it? I don’t know how anyone wins a game when one side bends over backward to follow the rules and the other makes up the rules as they go. Just saying.

  3. This is a ridiculous article. MERRICK GARLAND SHOULD BE ASKED TO RESIGN OR ELSE BE FIRED for refusing to do his job! The unnecessary problems Garland has created for President Biden are too damaging to be explained away or forgivable. Garland could have told Hur BEFOREHAND – that this should be an objective investigation based on known facts & without emotional, political, gratuitous or unsubstantiated input.
    Hur is not a doctor or an analyst. He is an agist, a partisan & a Trump cultist on a mission to be included in Trump’s potential “administration”. Garland didn’t give Hur any Justice Dept. guidelines, which he should have, for what information this investigation is seeking, because, as Garland has said himself many times, he “has to be careful not to appear partisan.” That seems to be the only goal Garland has for himself as Attorney General, “NOT TO APPEAR PARTISAN”. That’s it! Garland said he didn’t think a candidate for president should be investigated because he “didn’t want to appear partisan”. So he chooses a “conservative” Republican attorney, appointed by Donald Trump, to do the Biden documents investigation & gave him his approval beforehand, without any restrictions. Translated, that means Garland is too chicken to do his job & cares only about “not appearing to be partisan”. It also means that Garland is not qualified for or up to the job. Garland is a loser. Garland is a coward. Bring up President Biden’s dead son which had absolutely nothing to do with this investigation, is not only unnecessary, but it’s cruel & rock bottom low. That’s why Garland is useless to this president & to the Democratic party because he “doesn’t want to appear partisan”. I’ve got news for Garland. No matter what the result of any investigation of either party are, someone will say it’s partisan. That’s inevitable & Garland should know that & handled it as an experienced professional & & as Garland himself has said many times “We will go wherever the facts take us. No one is above the law”. If Garland can’t handle doing this job fairly & effectively, he should seek employment elsewhere. This office is too critical to allow such irresponsible & dangerous behavior to pass without serious pushback & protest.
    Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) who was a member of the House committee (as was Liz Cheney) investigating the Jan 6, 2021 riots & insurrection, said that after Jan 6, they thought & expected that AG Merrick was investigating & would soon ask to meet with them, only to find out, astonishingly, that even 2 years after the insurrection, Merrick Garland & his Justice Department had done NOTHING whatsoever to investigate, setting their hope for establishing the details & blame & responsibility for how this was historic disaster was allowed to occur, back by those two critical years. This was the most egregious case of Garland not doing his job because he didn’t “want to appear partisan”. What Garland has done, either inadvertently or purposely, is delay Trump’s indictments & ensuing court trials, BY TWO YEARS!!! Garland was missing in action during these two critical years, coming out of hiding to make occasional statements about routine events, but not once did he make any known public effort to take the side of truth & justice & apply the law “according to the facts, wherever they take us. No one is above the law” declarations. Garland’s famous last words!! I shall repeat: Garland is useless as the attorney general for the people of the United States, has been missing in action, has contributed absolutely nothing to bring the career criminal Trump & his band of thugs to justice and in fact may help them all get away with their crimes against our country & our people, without any accountability whatsoever & has harmed President in a largely irrevocable way. Was this Garland’s intention all along? MERRICK GARLAND MUST EITHER RESIGN OR BE FIRED, POST HASTE. FULL STOP

    • He’ll still be the good boy who made it…all the way to the F B I…OOPS! That’s from Silence of the Lambs…silence…that’s what he was doing when he sold us down the river to a nazi loving criminal.

  4. OK, here’s a contrarian POV = Garland did a great job with this.

    It came out well before October, as he knew it would. All the time in the world to turn the tables and make sure everyone knew it was a hatchet job. Gave President Biden swinging room to respond and change the narrative back to trumpy – it’s happening already.

    You actually think Garland didn’t know Hur would pull this juvenile stunt when he appointed him? Not a mistake at all. Well played, I think, very well played.

    Even the MSM headlines are beginning to tweak on trumpy’s gaffes and realizing that they have a bigger story – “Hey, over there, orange squirrel, squeaking nonsense.” One of these days they’ll play the fucking tapes of dotard on the 6 o’clock news!!!

    Turnabout’s fair play and this turnaround is wonderful to watch. Every time the bad guys try to pull stunts, it’s becoming more obvious and is finally being pointed out.

    Squeaker erections, impeachment misadventures, old guy bullshit…they are soooo predictable.

    The “old guy” nonsense is now behind us. Game , set, match – to President Biden.

  5. Hur’s job was to investigate Biden’s retention of documents, a small number of which were marked classified and should have been returned to the archive. He looked for evidence of criminal intent, of which there was none. But coming up empty-handed he then inserted damaging smears of the President’s character and mental capacity, which were clearly outside his mandate. Garland had every reason and justification to require this material to be redacted, and he failed. So, bottom line, Garland’s either incompetent or he has a political motive. Either way, he’s not fit for office.

  6. Garland had no choice? Really? I seem to remember another A.G. getting a special counsel’s report and not only leaving pertinent portions out of his synopsis but also putting his own spin on the rest. More to the point, hur so obviously politicized and lied Garland ought to have immediately brought the investigators (hur did not do all, perhaps even none, of the investigating just as Mueller did not for the Mueller investigation–investigators are brought in) for the doc case in and asked them wtf is up with this kind of conduct. If this is what the actual investigators came up with then PROOF must be provided (needs to be anyway). I think we all know this is bullshit but let’s see if there is ANYTHING provided which supports this hur fool. Was there something open to interpretation? Ok, let’s see it so we can judge hur’s report against the investigator’s findings. I would make book there was nothing in what the investigator’s provided to hur indicating anything like he reported. This hur fool provided a report that reads more like a trump campaign ad than an investigation…which is 99.99% what it was.

    Garland must be fired immediately but more than that, the reason why he needs to be fired must be provided. Full proof of his incompetence in allowing the politicization of this matter must be broadcast fully. This is not his first f*ck-up. Let’s make sure it’s his last. The one thing we were supposed to not see again in DOJ was the politicization of investigations. He failed miserably-get rid of his ass.

    I see nonsense like this and have to wonder–is Garland suffering from some cognitive disorder? He does not act like someone dispassionate, logical, or quite frankly knowledgeable of what DOJ’s job is.

  7. Another contrarian view = those dissing Garland are only doing the R’s work for them, please stop it.

    I can’t begin to count the number of comments I’ve read knocking Garland about this and other things: he’s too slow, wasted three years, yadayada… Ya know, when trumpy said “How come they didn’t indict me three years ago?” he almost was reading off comments written by Democratic supporters who write comments!!!

    In everything he’s done he has followed the rule of law. In stark contrast to Bill Barr.

    Which is exactly what we were all kvetching about with that bastard.

    When, not if, trumpy goes down, he ain’t gonna get off on an appeal.

    Garland has dotted the is and crossed the ts and has proven OUR point (not mine alone) that the justice dept should be independent and follow the law. Kicking him out now would only get the r’s slobbering about how right they were about him being a stooge of the Biden Crime Family. We should support the Attorney General and stop shooting ourselves in the foot. He is doing the right thing. Al Franken is no longer a great Senator because of this way of thinking. Remember that debacle?

    Garland has gone after the dotard, and has now exposed the r’s yet again, and my point in my earlier comment is now showing up in MSM – Hur was a hitman. Now even the WaPo is running it as a headline. The important independent voters are seeing just how bad the rs are in real time and perhaps the “age” BS can be put behind us. If it comes up again, the answer is “Hey, remember that Hur Hit Piece? Total baloney, President Biden was cleared by a republicon special counsel! No stolen documents case, “age” is a nonsense issue. President Biden is a great guy doing a fantastic job.”

  8. Garland is ultimately responsible, he should offer his resignation for his own bad judgement. The President deserves no less.
    Besides, if he goes then Joe can put Kamala in that position and find another running mate for this election – for all those that think she’s an albatross around his neck.

  9. My big question is why Garland chose this highly partisan hack to be Special Counsel in the first place. There had to be someone better qualufied, including a,Republican like Romney who could have done what the law required in one or two pages, citing why Biden cannot be charged because reasons. Garland had to know what this guy was, which means Merrick is either incompetent or too.damned politically naive, either which makes him unsuited for running DoJ.

    • Policy has been, at least during my lifetime to appoint someone known to be from the opposite Party when picking a Special Prosecutor, or for a while there Independent Counsel. The idea is a noble one – to avoid the appearance of partisan favor. Of course, during the Trump years that was another norm that got tossed into the wood chipper. On the face of it someone like Hur, who’d been Wray’s deputy while Wray headed the DOJ Criminal Division and later as a U.S. Attorney would have seemed a good choice. Someone who if he didn’t find evidence to warrant prosecution GOPers would accept as having done all that could be done but there was no “there” there. Which of course was just plain fucking stupid on Garland’s part. NO ONE who failed to prosecute Biden would have been acceptable to today’s GOP. Not even Sessions or Barr. Or Jeffrey Clark, Eastman, Powell or even Rudy.

  10. Garland is and has been a total weenie. He’s weak, slow and I’m almost certain now, a closet trump supporter. Too bad McConnell didn’t let Obama seat him on the SCOTUS. The GOP would have gotten an ultra-conservative judge without having to live with the hypocrisy they showcased by shoving through Comey Barrett a week before an election.

  11. Who recommended to Garland that Hur should have been chosen as special counsel?

    I’m curious how that process works.

    Hur shouldn’t be anywhere near the DOJ. All these trump “sympathizers” should get the boot. Starting with Wray.


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