Attorney General Merrick Garland was already in the hot seat at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, but Sen. Ted Cruz absolutely torched him for his partisanship.
The Texas Republican confronted Garland about his politicization of the Department of Justice, particularly in handling threats made to Supreme Court judges after a draft of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked, Fox News reported.
Protesters began showing up at the homes of six justices, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s residence, where authorities apprehended an armed man intending to kill the judge ahead of the finalized opinion.
These protests and threats arguably could be classified as attempts to influence the court, but the Justice Department refused to treat them as such.
Cruz was trying to elicit answers about why that was during the hearing, and stated, “You did nothing.”
Garland eventually admitted that nobody was prosecuted for that particular criminal offense despite the obvious application of the law.
He began by stating he had high expectations that Garland would be nonpartisan in his position but has since become disillusioned.
“In my judgment, the Department of Justice has been politicized to the greatest extent I’ve ever seen in this country, and it has done a discredit to the Department of Justice, to the FBI, and the administration of law in this country,” Cruz said.
He leaned on Garland to state whether he used the statute that prohibited protesting with the “intent of influencing any judge” to prosecute anyone who showed up at the justices’ homes.
“Have you brought a single case against any of these protesters threatening [Justice Brett Kavanaugh]? Have you brought even one?” Cruz, with the printed law behind him on a tripod, said pointedly to Garland.
The attorney general attempted to make the case that he sent marshals to the justices’ homes but deflected from answering Cruz’s question.
“Let me try again,” Cruz interrupted Garland’s evasive answer.
“Has the Department of Justice brought even a single case under the statute? It’s a yes-no question. It’s not a, give a speech on the other things you did,” Cruz said.
“The jobs of the United States Marshals is to defend the lives of,” Garland began, again launching into his script to circumvent Cruz’s question.
However, Cruz was not about to let him off the hook. “So the answer is no,” Cruz shot back.
“The answer is no. Why aren’t you willing to say no?” the Texas lawmaker continued.
“You know it’s no; I know it’s no; everyone in this hearing room knows it’s no. You’re not willing to answer the question,” Cruz chastised Garland.
“Have you brought a case under the statute, yes or no?” Cruz asked one more time.
As far as I know, we haven’t,” Garland responded. “What we have done is defended the lives of the justices with 70 U.S. Marshals.”
Despite Garland’s best efforts, Cruz’s dogged pursuit cornered him into admitting that he did not use the full extent of the law when dealing with the protesters at justices’ homes.
Cruz believes the groups against overturning abortion rights behind the protests, such as Jane’s Revenge, got a pass from Garland because of politics.
“When these same groups posted online information about where the justices worship, or their home addresses, or where their kids went to school, you again sat on your hands and did nothing,” Cruz charged.
“Your failure to act to protect the safety of the justices and their families was an obvious product of political bias,” Cruz said.
“You agree with Roe versus Wade, you disagree with the Dobbs decision, and the department of justice under this president was perfectly happy to refuse to enforce the law and allow threats of violence,” Cruz accused Garland.
Conservative commentator Benny Johnson rightly gave Cruz credit for this exchange using a play on a nickname given to the Texas lawmaker during the campaign against former President Donald Trump.
“Lion Ted Cruz MAULS AG Garland to absolute SHREDS for ignoring threats against Supreme Court Justices,” Johnson captioned his tweet.
Lion Ted Cruz MAULS AG Garland to absolute SHREDS for ignoring threats against Supreme Court Justices pic.twitter.com/ZTCjbnOOp6
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 1, 2023
While it’s commendable that Garland at least sent protection for the justices, Cruz has a point that the attorney general didn’t bother to apply relevant law when he had the chance.
It’s clear there is a two-tiered system that exists in President Joe Biden’s administration that treats leftists with kid gloves while putting the hammer down on conservatives.
Other examples from the hearing included details of the armed raid on the home of Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck — conducted in front of his seven children — and an FBI memo classifying traditionalist Catholics as dangerous radicals, The Hill reported.
These targeted efforts are taking place even as antifa riots and attacks on pro-life centers are treated with a shrug because, as Garland explained, they happen “at night in the dark,” Fox News reported.
Garland has gotten away with this partisanship and grotesque misapplication of justice, but at least Cruz and other Republicans were ready to hold his feet to the fire this time.
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