Attorney General Garland Says He “Will Not Be Intimidated”, Pushes Back on “Extremely Dangerous” GOP Claims About the DOJ

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jun 05, 2024

Attorney General Merrick Garland has said he “will not be intimidated” and has pushed back on the “extremely dangerous” Republican claims targeted the Department of Justice.

These comments from Garland come as the Attorney General appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Garland Appears Before the House

On Tuesday, Garland appeared before the House to answer questions from lawmakers. Many Republican Representatives attacked Garland over his holding of records from Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation on President Joe Biden.

A view of the Capitol building with cars driving on a street in front of it.

Source: Jorge Alcala/Unsplash

Hur’s investigation — which found that Biden would face no charges — revolved around Biden’s mishandling of classified documents after he was vice president.


Holding Garland in Contempt

Many House conservatives threatened to hold Garland in contempt for his refusal to give up records from this investigation, even after they’ve subpoenaed them.

Merrick Garland seen behind a podium with a microphone and in front of American flags.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

However, Garland has claimed that they have no real purpose for asking for these sensitive documents — documents that could reveal law enforcement information and tactics, which he doesn’t want to happen.

Keeping the DOJ’s Integrity

In his opening statements during this hearing, Garland explained that he wants to keep the Justice Department’s integrity intact.

A close-up of a Lady Justice statue.

Source: Tingey Injury Law Firm/Unsplash

“Certain members of this Committee and the Oversight Committee are seeking contempt as a means of obtaining — for no legitimate purpose — sensitive law enforcement information that could harm the integrity of future investigations,” Garland stated. “This effort is only the most recent in a long line of attacks on the Justice Department’s work.”

The DOJ’s Interactions With Alvin Bragg

Many Republicans in the House also took time to ask Garland about whether the Department of Justice had any interactions with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Alvin Bragg smiling while outside in front of a building.

Source: CmdrDan/Wikimedia Commons

Bragg led the recent investigation against former President Donald Trump, which just last week ended in a jury convicting Trump on 34 different felony counts.

Fueling an Incorrect Theory

This line of questioning occurred thanks to the former president, as well as many Republican Congress members, stating that the DOJ pushed Bragg to bring this case to trial, all to help current President Joe Biden win the election.

Merrick Garland speaking in front of a White House podium with President Joe Biden beside him.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

There is no evidence to show that any of this type of interaction between the DOJ and Bragg’s office occurred.


Garland Explains What the House Can Do

After Republican Representative Matt Gaetz questioned Garland on whether this interaction took place, Garland explained that Bragg’s office is independent of the DOJ.

Merrick Garland speaking into a microphone.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Therefore, if Congress wanted to request whether there has been any correspondence, they should refer to the Office of Legislative Affairs.


Garland Blasts Conspiracy Theories

Throughout the hearing, Garland repeatedly denied that the Department of Justice had any interaction with Bragg’s investigation into the former president.

Merrick Garland in front of a government podium and microphone.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Garland even stated that this incorrect allegation is a “conspiracy theory” and that it’s “an attack on the judicial process itself.”


Dangerous Rhetoric About the FBI

Garland also explained that the rhetoric from House Republicans about the FBI and how they conducted their search at Mar-a-Lago is “extremely dangerous.”

A close-up of the FBI building in Washington, D.C. seen in the daytime.

Source: Jack Young/Unsplash

These comments came in response to conspiracy theories that were spread by Trump and his supporters that President Biden authorized the DOJ to use deadly force when the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home in August of 2022.


Threats Against the FBI

According to Garland, these theories could potentially lead to the FBI dealing with more threats against them, simply because they’re trying to do their job.

A close-up of an FBI badge next to a gun.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

“This is dangerous. It raises the threats of violence against prosecutors and career agents,” Garland said. “The allegation is false, as the FBI has explained, the document that’s being discussed is our standard use of force protocol, which is a limitation on the use of force, and which is routinely part of the package for search warrants, and was part of the package for the search of President Biden’s home as well.”


Garland Stands His Ground

The Attorney General also defended himself and the entire DOJ against these many allegations from Republican lawmakers.

A close-up of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda seen in the daytime.

Source: Joshua Sukoff/Unsplash

“I view contempt as a serious matter. But I will not jeopardize the ability of our prosecutors and agents to do their jobs effectively in future investigations,” Garland said. “I will not be intimidated. And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our jobs free from political influence. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”


Protecting Career Employees

During one moment, Garland appeared to be visibly emotional as he answered a question from Democratic Representative Madeleine Dean. Dean asked him if he was worried that the Justice Department was under attack, thanks to these conspiracies.

Merrick Garland sitting down in a chair around other people.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Garland explained that he will always protect his team and his employees, particularly the career employees in his department who are simply trying to do the right thing.