The Mueller report suggested that former President Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice because of his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey and alleged pressure on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller. Now a report has emerged that Biden is planning to fire Attorney General Merrick Garland over special counsel investigations.
While the media made much of the obstruction of justice allegations at the time, it’s shown little interest in its own reporting which implicated Biden in multiple instances of obstruction of justice.
A recent Politico report described Biden complaining that Attorney General Merrick Garland did not stop Special Counsel Hur from editing out mentions of his diminished mental capacity in his report, that Garland should not have allowed a special counsel to look into his son’s misconduct and finally that Garland had failed to schedule a trial of former President Trump quickly enough.
As a result, Politico reported that Biden would oust Garland if he gets a second term.
Not only was Biden interfering with supposedly independent investigations of himself and his son, but even into criminal proceedings aimed at his likely opponent in the presidential race. The interference has become crude and overt enough that it now includes media leaks threatening the job of his attorney general for not sufficiently protecting him from investigations.
And for not doing enough to schedule his presidential opponent’s trial before the election.
Troublingly, the report describes Biden complaining in “recent weeks” that Garland took too long to move on trying Trump. And in mid-January, Garland unexpectedly told CNN that “the cases were brought last year, the prosecutor has urged speeding trials with, with which I agree, and it’s now in the hands of the judicial system, not in our hands.”
It appears now that the attorney general was not just talking to CNN, but to President Biden.
If the Politico report is true, this is deeply corrupt behavior that meets the standard for impeachment. A pattern of interfering in his own investigations is obstruction of justice, but interfering to speed up a criminal case against his opponent so that a trial takes place before an upcoming election is abuse of power. Both are extremely impeachment worthy charges.
Impeachment proceedings moved forward against former President Nixon over obstruction of justice charges related to the coverup of Watergate. Former President Bill Clinton actually was impeached on obstruction of justice grounds and finally former President Trump was impeached for the first time on obstruction of justice charges. The precedents point to impeaching Biden.
These reports come after multiple denials by the White House, by Attorney General Garland and other administration figures that there was any political interference in the investigations.
“Since he took office and consistent with his campaign promise that he would restore the independence of the Justice Department when it comes to decision-making in criminal investigations, President Biden has made clear that this matter would be handled independently by the Justice Department, under the leadership of a U.S. Attorney appointed by former President Trump, free from any political interference by the White House. He has upheld that commitment.” the Biden administration claimed after whistleblowers described efforts by the Department of Justice to sabotage their investigation into Hunter Biden.
The independence has been exposed as a sham and the documented interference with the Hunter Biden investigation could have come from the Justice Department under pressure from the Attorney General or other administration figures because Joe Biden was protecting his son.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan had already announced an obstruction of justice investigation into Biden over allegations that he had interfered in the Hunter Biden investigation and the revelations in the Politico article that Biden had sought to pressure not just one investigation but three and to do so at the level of the attorney general’s office are likely to provide more fuel for an obstruction of justice case.
“We are facing obstruction like has never been demonstrated in the history of congressional investigations,” Rep. Comer had argued.
According to the Politico report, anger at Special Counsel Hur’s report by “Biden and his closest advisers” led them to “put part of the blame on Garland, who they say should have demanded edits to Hur’s report.” While Attorney General Garland could have tried to edit or suppress the report, Congress would have demanded unredacted copies and the leaked copies would have been an even bigger scandal. Garland appears to have understood this even when Biden did not.
Biden also charged that Garland should not have “empowered a special counsel to look into his son” claiming that “the stress could send Hunter Biden spiraling back into addiction.”
Most damagingly, Biden recently took to grumbling “to aides and advisers that had Garland moved sooner in his investigation into former President Donald Trump’s election interference, a trial may already be underway or even have concluded” apparently out of concern that the trial might not take place before the presidential election for maximum political advantage.
As a result, “most of the president’s senior advisers do not believe that the attorney general would remain in his post for a possible second term.”
Clearly the Biden team expects more legal troubles or assaults in a possible second term and believes that Attorney General Garland is spending too much time protecting himself from the fallout and not doing enough of their dirty work. That does not bode well for the next four years.
While there are no indications that Biden has directly pressured Garland, the constant mentions of the subjects to top aides and advisors, followed by media leaks, are meant to have the same effect while providing plausible deniability. They also convey a message to anyone who wants to be Garland’s possible successor of the expectations of the office that he or she hopes to assume.
When the president expresses his unhappiness to aides, they are expected to act on it. And the question is, beyond media leaks, what actions did they take to pressure Garland on the three investigations? That is the question on which Biden’s impeachment may depend.
Despite efforts to portray Biden as a disinterested party who was watching the investigations unfold without interfering with them, the Politico report shows that he was highly invested in them, closely monitoring them and sending strong signals of what he wanted to see done with them. These are evidence of obstruction of justice and a severe abuse of power.
And they cannot go unpunished.