AG Merrick Garland Defends Himself From Democratic Criticism Over Decision to Have DOJ Defend Trump

Donald Trump is now out of the White House. That means that he is no longer protected from lawsuits and potential criminal charges. One of those lawsuits was a defamation suit filed by E. Jean Carroll.

When William Barr was Attorney General, he had the Justice Department intervene in the case. And while Merrick Garland is the new AG, the DOJ is still attempting to help Trump.

Last night, Garland received a letter from a number of Democratic lawmakers criticizing the decision. Rep. Jerry Nadler tweeted, “The Department of Justice should not spend taxpayer dollars to defend former President Trump from a defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll. Their decision to do so is profoundly misguided.”

Garland responded to that critique today. “The job of the Justice Department in making decisions of law is not to back any administration, previous or present,” he said. “Our job is to represent the American people. Our job, in doing so, is to ensure adherence to the rule of law[It is important] that there not be one rule for Democrats and another for Republicans, that there not be one rule for friends and another for foes.”

The Attorney General continued, “It is not always easy to apply that rule. Sometimes it means that we have to make a decision about the law that we would never have made, and that we strongly disagree with, as a matter of policy. But in every case, the job of the Justice Department is to make the best judgment it can as to what the law requires.”

Under Trump, the DOJ was often weaponized against his political opponents. While Garland will upset many with his decision, he is attempting to return the organization to respectability.