Though he’s only been on the job for a few weeks, Attorney General Merrick Garland has already made it clear that he plans to start dismantling some of the most disgusting tenets of the Trump administration and run the Department of Justice (DOJ) in strict adherence with the U.S. Constitution.
For example, the DOJ announced this week that it would be restoring the use of consent decrees for abuses committed by police departments across the country:
“In easing restrictions placed on the use of consent decrees, the Justice Department is making it easier for its prosecutors to use the tool to force changes at police departments and other government agencies with widespread abuse and misconduct.”
The DOJ under Garland is also going after longtime Trump stooge Roger Stone, who owes nearly $2 million in back taxes to the IRS. Justice filed suit against Stone demanding immediate repayment of the money he and his wife owe the government, which means that Stone can either comply or face imprisonment for failure to comply.
Those two moves alone are antithetical to everything Republicans have been pushing for the past four years with Trump as president: That police can abuse or kill anyone and get away scot-free and that friends of the Donald are immune to facing any consequences for their actions. Under Trump, the GOP ran roughshod over the rights of anyone who wasn’t on their side while coddling those who supported their neo-fascist agenda of hatred, scapegoating, and grift.
What does this tell us about what to expect from Merrick Garland and the DOJ in the months ahead? Well, consider what remains on the agenda:
- The conclusion of an investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection, which could well result in criminal charges being filed against Donald Trump and his son, Don Jr., along with some Congressional Republicans such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
- A second look at the Russia investigation and the release of the full, unredacted report from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller
- Possible criminal charges against the Trump family, the Trump Organization, and others associated with the Trump corporation.
- Charges being filed against Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, and other close Trump associates who may have served in the administration, i.e. Stephen Miller.
- A return to the rule of law without interference from the White House and in accord with the way things are supposed to be done.
Attention, Republicans: The days of lawlessness that existed for you under Trump are over with. Merrick Garland is going to flush some of you right down the crapper.