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Attorney General Merrick Garland to rebuke ‘false narratives’ about Department of Justice at House hearing

Written by on June 4, 2024

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(WASHINGTON) — Attorney General Merrick Garland is set to push back forcefully on “false” and “extremely dangerous” narratives he says are being spread about the Department of Justice in an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The hearing comes as House GOP lawmakers threaten to hold Garland in contempt for withholding records they’ve subpoenaed from Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents following his vice presidency, including audio recordings of Hur’s interview.

“Certain members of this Committee and the Oversight Committee are seeking contempt as a means of obtaining — for no legitimate purpose — sensitive law enforcement information that could harm the integrity of future investigations,” Garland will say, according to prepared remarks released by the Department of Justice. “This effort is only the most recent in a long line of attacks on the Justice Department’s work.”

Additionally, according to his remarks, Garland will directly dispute claims the department had any involvement in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into former President Donald Trump — that last week resulted in a jury convicting him on 34 felony counts.

“That conspiracy theory is an attack on the judicial process itself,” Garland will say, according to his remarks.

He will also rebuke “baseless and extremely dangerous falsehoods … being spread about the FBI’s law enforcement operations,” he is expected to say, an apparent reference to conspiracy theories spread by Trump and his allies that Biden authorized the use of deadly force in the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago in August 2022.

In late May, Garland called Trump’s accusation, which came after documents were unsealed by the special counsel investigating the ongoing federal probe into those missing documents, “false and extremely dangerous.”

“The document that has been referred to in the allegation is the Justice Department’s standard policy, limiting the use of force as the FBI advises it as part of the standard operations plan for searches,” Garland previously told reporters. “And in fact, it was even used in the consensual search of President Biden’s home.”

As part of the Aug. 8, 2022, operation at Mar-a-Lago, FBI agents were given a standard policy document that limited the use of deadly force, according to the unsealed memo.

“It comes as individual career agents and prosecutors have been singled out just for doing their jobs,” Garland will say. “And it comes at a time when we are seeing heinous threats of violence being directed at the Justice Department’s career public servants. These repeated attacks on the Justice Department are unprecedented and unfounded.”

Garland is expected to further stand by the Justice Department’s recent decision to urge Biden to assert executive privilege over the remaining records from Hur’s investigation, arguing that handing over the materials could have the impact of jeopardizing future high-profile investigations.

“I view contempt as a serious matter. But I will not jeopardize the ability of our prosecutors and agents to do their jobs effectively in future investigations,” Garland will say. “I will not be intimidated. And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our jobs free from political influence. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”

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