You know, I feel sorry for Merrick Garland. First he gets boned from a Supreme Court seat thanks to a Kentucky Confederate, and when n Biden appoints him as the new Attorney General, his ass hasn’t even hit the chair before people are slinging shit at him.
Why isn’t Garland opening a criminal investigation into Trump?!? Why hasn’t Garland empaneled a grand jury into Trump’s business dealings?!? Why hasn’t Garland opened a grand jury investigation into this, that, and the other?!?
Look, this whole thing is patently ridiculous! Biden appointed Merrick Garland to undertake one of the most difficult governmental tasks imaginable. He appointed Garland to restore the integrity and trustworthiness of a Department of Justice that had been absolutely ravaged and savaged by the likes of KKKeebler the Elf, Matthew Whittaker, and Tubby the Ewok. Biden installed him to restore honor and integrity to the department, and because Garland is the most apolitical person you’ve ever met.
Look, cast your mind back to the days before January 20, 2017. Trump turned the DOJ into his private law firm of Hookem, Bookem, and Cookem. It was all political theater to terrify political opponents. But the DOJ tradition is that they do not announce criminal probes, for the simple reason that if they drop the probe, the defendant never has a chance to clear his name in court. The same thing is true for grand jury investigations, although those tend to leak because witnesses are not bound by a code of silence, and can talk to the media.
Garland is restoring the department to its former, and traditional mission, and garnering praise and support from DOJ employees for doing so. The media is pissed, because they don’t know who the DOJ is investigating, and the public is spoiled by the National Enquirer days of the Trump DOJ. I like this system better.
The public and the media have been climbing all over the DOJ’s ass about their 1/6 investigation for settling on the little fish who broke in, and ignoring the higher ups. But this is basic investigative and prosecutorial 101. Snare the little fish, grill them over an open flame, and get them to flip on the next level of fish. We already have open reporting of Oath Keepers and Proud Bois who have flipped, pleading guilty, and cooperating with prosecutors. The system is working as designed!
And now the DOJ has filed seditious conspiracy charges against 11 members of the Oath Keepers. This is a critical move for a couple of reasons. First of all, it has finally elevated charges against upper echelon figures in the extremist movement, not just the fish that pissed on the drapes in the Capitol. And that opens the possibility of one or more of them flipping on even higher fish, which could include Trump lackeys, if not Trump himself.
But it is important for a much more important reason. Since day one, everyone in both the government as well as the media has referred to the insurrection as a domestic terrorist attack. But the problem is that there are no domestic terrorism laws in the federal code. And the US Constitution restricts the ways in which the government, state and local police can investigate private citizens. It ties the FBI’s hands behind their backs in surveillance and intelligence gathering on the far right groups.
And in my opinion, what Garland is doing here, as a career apolitical jurist on the federal bench is doing, is that he is using these charges to begin to provide the framework to define these groups for future changes to both investigative as well as legal law changes that deal with how the authorities can investigate them. To provide a framework for law enforcement to separate these far right extremist groups from regular citizens for additional scrutiny and investigation.
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once opined in a free speech ruling that the right of free speech doesn’t allow one to stand up and scream FIRE! in a crowded theater. It is the time, and long past, to start assigning the same principle to far right, violent extremist speech, and allow it to be investigated for the crime that it is. Leave the man alone, and let him work!