What is Merrick Garland going to do now?
So far, DOJ has remained, at least apparently, on the sidelines of an investigation of the insurrection where former President Donald Trump is concerned. But two developments last week may make Merrick Garland’s tack increasingly difficult, if not impossible.
Before we get to those developments, let’s talk about why Garland might legitimately want to avoid prosecuting the former president. The argument would go something like this: the Justice Department must be above politics, both actually and in appearance. This is even more important following an administration where it wasn’t. For people to have confidence in our justice system — and let’s face it, the public’s confidence is what the system runs on — DOJ can’t be just another arm of the presidency, a tool for dealing with political enemies. It must be principled and guided in its work by the law and the facts, lest we become a banana republic.