Politics - News Analysis

Nation’s Top Legal Experts Worry Merrick Garland Will Let Trump ‘Off the Hook’ for Jan. 6th

It is fairly well-established, at least among liberals, that Lawrence Tribe is the greatest living law professor of about two to three generations. Bill Clinton considered him for the SCOTUS back when Tribe was still teaching. Tribe taught Constitutional law to just about every politician in DC with a degree from Harvard, at least the older ones. And regular readers know how much regard this site has for his scholarship and activism.

Professor Tribe also reads this site (he’s quoted us before) and thus he has to know that we’ve worried for the last six months that Merrick Garland seems to live in a dimension in which the greatest crime on the American government never occurred.

Oh, Garland is great at prosecuting the people that broke the windows. But as for investigating who might have assured there was a crowd to break the windows, and why the crowd so helpfully yelled “hang Mike Pence” (with a hangman’s noose), all looking designed to get Mike Pence out of the Capitol, that crime? On that day? Well, what crime? Merrick Garland doesn’t see a problem. He cannot see the plainly obvious connection between Trump and the attempt to delay the Senate?

We haven’t seen any indication that DOJ plans to even investigate and neither had Adam Schiff.

Now Lawrence Tribe is calling Merrick Garland out and quite publicly, in the New York Times:

Mr. Garland’s success depends on ensuring that the rule of law endures. That means dissuading future coup plotters by holding the leaders of the insurrection fully accountable for their attempt to overthrow the government. But he cannot do so without a robust criminal investigation of those at the top, from the people who planned, assisted or funded the attempt to overturn the Electoral College vote to those who organized or encouraged the mob attack on the Capitol. To begin with, he might focus on Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and even Donald Trump — all of whom were involved, in one way or another, in the events leading up to the attack,”

In other words, if you don’t prosecute the first attempted coup, then it just becomes a practice one. They get free shots at it! Why not take them!

“The legal path to investigate the leaders of the coup attempt is clear. The criminal code prohibits inciting an insurrection or ‘giving aid or comfort’ to those who do, as well as conspiracy to forcibly ‘prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States.’ The code also makes it a crime to corruptly impede any official proceeding or deprive citizens of their constitutional right to vote,” they wrote. “Based purely on what we know today from news reports and the steady stream of revelations coming from the House select committee investigating the attack, the attorney general has a powerful justification for a robust and forceful investigation into the former president and his inner circle.”

The evidence has been in front of our faces for the last eight months and had DOJ been investigating the way the FBI has been known to investigate before, when they put whole airplanes back together, or find serial killers, we’d know every word Trump spoke, and every word spoken by everyone around Trump for the entire week before.

Instead, Garland seems to want to pretend this is just “normal America.” Let by gones be by gones, the good guys won, and it won’t happen again.

Sure, Garland can get all big and bad fighting Texas’s new abortion laws, but can’t be bothered to fight off the organized crime movement behind it? Fighting for women’s is rights is critical, but rooting out the former organized crime administration IS part of the battle for women’s rights. Garland can jump in and win all the cases against Texas he wants, but if Trump is allowed back in office to abuse the constitution even further, we cannot have “women’s rights” without having “rights” to begin with, starting with the right to a meaningful vote.

“Without forceful action to hold the wrongdoers to account, we will likely not resist what some retired generals see as a march to another insurrection in 2024 if Mr. Trump or another demagogue loses,” they wrote. “Throughout his public life, Mr. Garland has been a highly principled public servant focused on doing the right thing. But only by holding the leaders of the Jan. 6 insurrection — all of them — to account can he secure the future and teach the next generation that no one is above the law. If he has not done so already, we implore the attorney general to step up to that task.

Given the fact that two months ago, this website called for Garland to either initiate a serious investigation and prosecution immediately or step down, immediately, we’d like to think that Professor Tribe was in agreement then. He certainly seems to be there now.


[email protected] and Susbtack: Much Ado About Everything

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad raising a ridiculously-loved young girl on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He is very much the dreamy mystic, a day without learning is a day not lived. He is passionate about his flower pots and studies philosophical science, religion, and non-mathematical principles of theoretical physics. Dogs, pizza, and love are proof that God exists. "Above all else, love one another."


COMMENT POLICY: We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, hard-core profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment!