Secret Garland Memo Cites Bill Barr Order to Flag AG if Investigating a Presidential Candidate
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow obtained a Feb. 2020 memo authored by then-Attorney General Bill Barr saying that anyone at the Justice Department who is investigating a political candidate has to run it by the Attorney General. That memo, she explained, was renewed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in May 2022.
“The Department of Justice has a strong interest in the prosecution of election-related crimes, such as those involving federal and state campaign finance laws, federal patronage laws, and corruption of the election process. As Department employees, however, we must be particularly sensitive to safeguarding the Department’s reputation for fairness, neutrality, and non-partisanship,” the memo says.
“Simply put,” it continues, “partisan politics must play no role in the decisions of federal investigators or prosecutors regarding any investigations or criminal charges. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of public statements (attributed or not), investigative steps, criminal charges, or any other actions in any matter or case for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party. Such a purpose, or the appearance of such a purpose, is inconsistent with the Department’s mission and with the Principles of Federal Prosecution.”
The new guidance from Barr said that any investigation for a declared candidate for president has to be run by the attorney general personally.
However, the 2022 midterms aren’t elections for presidents, and former President Donald Trump hasn’t declared he’s running in 2024 yet. Even if he had announced or if he announces ahead of 2022, the memo essentially says that any investigator looking into Trump has to run it by Garland. The theory is that if someone at the Justice Department was investigating a former president it likely would include the attorney general. It would have prevented FBI Director James Comey from announcing an investigation into Hillary Clinton in 2016, however.
Former Justice Department official Andrew Weissmann said that under a normal and reputable attorney general something like this would make sense.
“On the other hand, the Bill Barr Justice Department was anything but a Justice Department. The rule of law was so flouted that the idea of re-upping something that he put in place is one that I’m not sure if I were at the department I would look at with anything other than saying, ‘I am not bringing a case against anyone at the White House until such time as I personally approve it’ no matter how much evidence seems to be accumulated in the Jan. 6th committee hearings. So, you know, I think it’s a plus/minus. You know, it probably could have been phrased a lot better and clearer to people at the Justice Department.”
None of the people involved in Jan. 6 are at the White House anymore, however.
Weissmann went on to quote the recent Wall Street Journal report that the Justice Department was getting more funding to address the Jan. 6 cases.
“Is it expanded to include all of the evidence of criminality that was laid out by the Jan. 6th committee? In other words, not just who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6th and not just fake electors, but what was going on at the Department of Justice in terms of beheading Jeffrey Rosenstein to get a lackey? What is going on in other states? The pressuring of the vice president of the United States?” he asked. “All of that seems to me to be appropriate for a criminal investigation.”
Last week, Weissmann penned an op-ed saying that he was concerned by the reports that Justice Department officials were shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony. It led him to believe that their “shock” meant they didn’t know about her comments to the Jan. 6 committee. That would thus mean that the DOJ isn’t doing investigations into the White House role in Jan. 6, or if they are they hadn’t brought in someone as key as Hutchinson.
Maddow’s opener and Andrew Weissmann’s commentary are below:
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No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?
Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.
Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.
NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.
Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.
“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.
“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.
“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”
READ MORE: ‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.
Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.
Let’s fill this venue with empty seats.https://t.co/3tGSfan5iw
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) March 24, 2023
“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”
“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.
NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.
“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”
“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.
READ MORE: ‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes
Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.
VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.
“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”
“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”
“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.
Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”
RELATED: Ninth Wrestler Comes Forward to Say Jordan ‘Snickered’ When He Complained of Sexual Abuse: Report
Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.
“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.
“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.
But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”
READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’
Jim Jordan Busted for Helping Trump ‘Tamper’ With Probe: ‘Beyond All Bounds of What’s Legal’
Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg rebuffed a Republican House demand for a peek inside an investigation involving Donald Trump as “unlawful,” and MSNBC’s Al Sharpton agreed it amounted to “tampering.”
Bragg’s general counsel denied a request for documents and an interview with the district attorney by Judiciary, Oversight and Administration Committee chairs Jim Jordan (R-OH), James Comer (R-KY) and Bryan Steil (R-WI), calling the congressional inquiry an “unprecedented” intervention into a pending local prosecution undertaken at Trump’s request.
“Any man that is up in the middle of the night, that is going with this kind of language, is scared to death,” Sharpton said of Trump, who has been posting highly provocative online attacks against Bragg. “The problem, though, is that he is inciting people, no matter how small they have become as a crowd, to do something. Add that to him having the photo of the bat at a sitting prosecutor, I mean, it’s unimaginable. You’re right, we’d be arrested for that.”
“We have chairmen of committees telling a prosecutor, who is in the middle of an investigation, to come and give us the evidence,” Sharpton added. “I mean, they’re really tampering with an investigation. This is not an investigation that’s concluded. Before we know whether there is an indictment or charge, they’re saying bring us the evidence? I mean, this is unheard of. What is Jordan talking about? They’re in the middle of a grand jury proceeding. You want the prosecutor to leave the proceeding and tell me the evidence you’re giving, and we’ll put it on national television so the target can understand the evidence? I mean, we are going beyond all bounds of what is legal, what is respectful, and we have a man who is scared to death, that is up in the middle of the night inciting violence, having a photo with a bat, because he’s scared to death he’s going to have to face this prosecution.”
READ MORE: Trump is ‘out of his mind scared’ after late-night outburst : Morning Joe panel
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