Republican critics slam AG Merrick Garland after Judiciary Committee testimony

September 23, 2023

This week saw hours of testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland before the House Judiciary Committee, and according to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the hearing revealed that any power the nation's top cop may have once had over the agencies he is supposed to oversee has effectively been removed, as Breitbart reports.

Issa's critical comments on Garland's appearance came during an installment of Fox News' Your World with host Neil Cavuto.

The major takeaways from the AG's back-and-forth with members of Congress, according to Issa, were that Garland is “not in charge” of the entity he purports to lead and that he had no problem throwing officials within a number of federal agencies “under the bus" with regard to their handling of matters ranging from the Hunter Biden probe to investigations of domestic terrorism threats.

Despite the alarming revelations he gleaned from Garland's testimony, Issa told Cavuto that the result of the hearing was “great.”

The congressman seemed to find substantial informational value in “the attorney general telling us he's not in charge, he's not in charge of the prosecution of the former president, he's not in charge of the investigation or even the coordination of the various U.S. attorneys who have to cooperate with the special prosecutor, Weiss, he is not in charge.”

As a result, Issa explained, “that leaves us, appropriately, looking downstream to those who are clearly acting.”

Taking aim at Garland's deflections, Issa added, “As he defended his own integrity today, he really threw the offices of the Department of Justice and the FBI appropriately under the bus for their mishandling of these cases.”

“By saying he isn't doing it, and obviously, they're not getting done right, it's clear that there are problems at the Department of Justice, including various political appointees, U.S. attorneys, and of course...some of these deputies who are also political appointees,” Issa stated.

Taking an even more critical tone in assessing Garland's appearance at the hearing was Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), who characterized the AG's proclamations as “insulting,” as the Washington Examiner reports.

Kennedy took particular exception to Garland's responses to questions about the ongoing investigation of first son Hunter Biden, describing them as indicative of the AG's apparent belief that the American public is “stupid.”

“I thought Attorney General Garland talked to the American people as if he were talking to Bambi's baby brother. It was kind of insulting. The American people may be poorer under President Biden, but they're not stupid. He didn't talk about the facts,” Kennedy said.

A particularly heated exchange during Garland's testimony occurred when Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) inquired about reports of FBI targeting of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.

Despite Garland's emotional declarations that he would never countenance religious discrimination of any kind, Van Drew maintained in a subsequent interview with Newsmax that it is the overarching “climate” at the DOJ under its current leadership that permitted such a scenario to take root.

Putting things succinctly, Van Drew emphasized that Garland is the U.S. attorney general, “and the buck stops with him,” but based on the testimony and equivocations he offered on Wednesday, the establishment of plausible deniability with regard to all current scandals is the name of the AG's game.

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