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POLITICS: Democrats Upset with AG Garland’s ‘Apolitical’ Attitude at DOJ

POLITICS: Democrats Upset with AG Garland’s ‘Apolitical’ Attitude at DOJ


Democrats are beginning to have buyer’s remorse with President Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland, according to a new report from Business Insider.

“[Garland’s] measured, mild-mannered approach has stuck with him from his quasi-monastic past life as a federal judge,” Business Insider writes. “And frustration among some Biden’s allies has only grown as they experience Garland’s methodical ways of running a DOJ that must reckon with the Trump years and an invigorated onslaught of partisan political attacks.”

Before leading the U.S Justice Department, Garland spent 24 years as a federal judge serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Garland’s lengthy service in the judicial branch caused some Democrats to worry about his effectiveness as an executive branch official.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden congratulates Judge Merrick Garland after he was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“He’s been out of the hurly-burly for 25 years, it’s hard to get back into the arena. I think that’s part of the problem here,” a former top Obama administration official told Business insider.

“He seems incapable of making decisions. He’s running it like it’s a chambers, where he’s going to have to write an opinion or something,” the official continued. “He’s been a judge, where people are super-nice to you all the time, No one really questions you. Somebody might write a dissent, but it’s an academic dissent.”

Former Obama-era federal prosecutor Barb McQuade echoed the Obama administration official’s sentiments. “I think he’s still feeling his way in the executive branch,” McQuade said.

Garland recently appeared at a congressional oversight hearing and drew criticism not only from the Republican Party but the Democrat Party as well.

Republicans were critical of the Attorney General for reportedly labeling parents across the country as domestic terrorists. However, Democrats would have liked to see Garland push back on the Republicans more.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Garland fielded many questions regarding first amendment issues related to school board meetings and efforts to prevent violence against public officials. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2021, in Washington, DC. Garland fielded many questions regarding first amendment issues related to school board meetings and efforts to prevent violence against public officials. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

“He didn’t do great, but a huge factor is that he’s never been the type of individual that plays the political show that Republicans play. … We learned a lot from that oversight hearing,” a Democratic Senate aide told Business Insider.

Matt Miller, former Attorney General Eric Holder’s top spokesperson, said, “[Garland] could have walked into the hearing and said, ‘You’re damn right I’m worried about the safety of school board members.’” “‘The same way I’m worried about the safety of election workers, the same way I’m worried about your safety since your building was attacked on January 6th,’” Miller said.

CNN’s Jim Acosta recently called on Garland to prosecute former President Donald Trump for the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

However, Garland recently doubled down on his Justice Department’s commitment to impartiality. Garland lauded the Justice Department’s “steadfast commitment” to following the facts and pursuing equal justice under the law after Steve Bannon was indicted for contempt of Congress last Friday.



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