For various reasons, both Republicans and Democrats are unhappy with Attorney General Merrick Garland for his decision to appoint special counsels to investigate the potential criminal use of classified documents. right now and first president He deserves a lot of love for his current predicament, which is not his doing.
It starts, because of its length history violent acts when classified documents are not properly established, the Ministry of Justice should open investigations in both cases based on known facts. According to Biden’s documents, Garland may have appointed a special counsel based on the discovery of three sets of classified information, but his first appointment was as a special counsel for the former President. Trump’s. equally shallow Disciplinary behavior eliminated any possibility of another option. On the positive side, the appointment of Biden special advice should avoid calling the attorney general to the House Judiciary Committee to explain why he did not take seriously the poor treatment of Biden.
Doing two special tests at the same time is not a problem, but this special combination will cause a real headache. the attorney general. The main reason is the clarity of the laws of the Ministry of Justice that only the Attorney General can make the final decision whether to bring charges in all cases of special attorneys.
Just like former Attorney General William Barr, not Special Counsel Robert Mueller, had the power to decide what to do with the accusations obstruction of justice and collusion with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election are facing Donald Trump, so Garland must make the final call. Therefore, the appointment of a special attorney is a relief for Garland that will also give him the benefit of reviewing the case from a professional attorney.
Yes, there is many differences between the cases, or at least as far as we know the facts in the Biden case compared to what is published in the Mar-a-Largo investigation. Both investigations include allegations of misuse of classified information – although the Trump investigation extends to different facts about the investigation on January 6 – and at least wants the attorney general to decide what to do in both cases at the same time he can stay.
Meanwhile, the Biden investigation is just beginning, but the Trump investigation has been public for months. Because some, if not all, of Biden’s records are from his time as vice president, it will certainly take time and it may be difficult to see why it was not handled properly. he left the office, as well as someone else who was there. available in opposite years. Garland has been down for a long time complaints by some Democrats because of his lack of action against the former president, and the investigation of Biden will certainly slow down the process. In addition, the decision to finish the case Biden on a fast way to manage the great risk of the Republican claims of whiteness, especially if the charges are based on classified documents bring only Donald Trump.
Garland is also expected to face six charges on Jan. 6 against the former president who appointed his former special counsel. It seems likely that Trump’s special counsel will make his recommendations for all possible charges at once, and the attorney general almost certainly wants all of his options on the table.
Among other reasons that Garland will want to make that decision, the 6th of January will be brought to the District, where the government will have a jury that may not support Trump, but the information classification issue may have to be judged internally. Florida, which is more likely to be a pro-Trump jury. The classification case against Trump would be easy for the jury to understand and could be tried quickly, but just the opposite is true for the four trial on January 6. And adding the Biden case into the mix will certainly make the decision more difficult for Garland, especially since the Department of Justice has a official opinion to prevent the prosecution of a sitting president. Now, the clock is ticking, and every day it’s late it seems more political to impeach Trump now as a candidate for 2024.
Unfortunately, the decision will not be easy if the process is long. Biden’s announcements made the choice for attorney general even more difficult, but if the saying that “the buck stops here” had a bite, it certainly is here.
If, in the end, Garland decides against bringing criminal charges against Donald Trump, he can still file a civil case against him for inciting the revolution of January 6, which it caused. million dollars the destruction of the Capitol and the need for the government to bring in the National Guard for two months to prevent a resurgence. That case cannot send the former president to prison, but it can provide a large measure of accountability, which may be the only thing possible at the highest level of politics today.
Alan B. Morrison is associate dean at George Washington University Law School where he teaches civil procedure and constitutional law.