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Garland

If Hillary Clinton Were President and Did What Trump Did, She'd Be in Jail for Life

The reality is that except for some rare exceptions, the Democrats in Washington treat the Republicans with kid gloves. The Democratic leaders are afraid of appearing partisan, so they pull back from holding the GOP accountable for illegal behavior, corruption and general Zombieness, such as Qanon and the absolutely bizarre sham and likely illegal manipulation of votes in Arizona (which is going to spread because the DOJ won’t file for an injunction).

As I quoted in my June 15th BuzzFlash Short Take, Merrick Garland told a Senate hearing on his nomination;

"The essence of the rule of law ... is that like cases be treated alike, that there not be one rule for Democrats and another for Republicans, that there not be one rule for friends and another for foes."

In a June 21 Washington Post article, Garland opined:

“I know about the criticisms,” Garland said. “The job of a Justice Department in making decisions of law is not to back any administration, previous or present. Our job is to represent the American people. And our job, in doing so, is to ensure adherence to the rule of law.”

Excuse me, but if the law were written down like the Ten Commandments, there would be little need for a behemoth of court systems at every level in the United States to interpret the law. There is no such reality of an inflexible “rule of law”; it is a proposition subject to perennial court debates. In Garland’s case, it is determined in endless conferences and memoranda in the Department of Justice, and subject to change over time.

The reality is that Garland, with Biden in concurrence, believes that it might hurt Democrats to fully investigate and prosecute a former president who spent four years in open defiance of the law.

Most recently, we learned that in his last weeks, Trump and his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows committed an egregious violation of federal law by trying to get the Department of Justice, then under an interim AG, to change the outcome of the election Biden won. We also just recently learned that Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and others — Democratic members of Congress — were spied upon by the DOJ, on behalf of Trump, in violation of the law — and that Schiff has told MSNBC that he only found out about it through Apple, which was under a gag order, not from Merrick Garland and the DOJ, and that Garland will not provide him with any information about the surveillance or respond to Schiff’s queries.

This is not acceptable, given that Trump attempted a coup in plain sight, that he attempted to steal an election — which continues as an ongoing act of delusional psychosis that is being pursued by him and his cult followers — and that his accumulation of illegal acts resulted in two impeachments that were actually narrow in scope, considering his wide-ranging culpability. In short, we have a treacherous former president still acting as if he won an election he lost by a wide margin and plotting to return to power in some autocratic fashion. This is not a moment for a DOJ that appears more interested in appearing “neutral” than in prosecuting an open and ongoing coup attempt.

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Garland suggests that his non-prosecution of Trump and his partners in crime proves that he isn’t “partisan” in prosecuting Republicans.

The reality is that if the President of the US were Hillary Clinton between 2017 and 2021, Merrick Garland might be well on his way to indicting her if she did what Donald Trump did in corrupting the office of the Presidency and committing illegal acts. Garland would have prosecuted Clinton because the number one rule of craven Democrats is not to give Republicans a chance to call them “partisan.”

This is an unforced error that cowering Democrats do “in the name of treating” all parties and people equally (wink, wink) when they actually vigorously hold Democrats to account to prove their “fairness,” but let Republican lawlessness, particularly at the Presidential level (Obama let this happen with Bush and Cheney), slide. This, in no small part, contributes to the disregard for the law by Trump and the Republicans because they know, for the most part, that the Democrats will let them get away with it.

Garland is known as a judge that wanted everyone, including conservatives, to like him during his many years on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. By all accounts, he is an unpretentious, amiable and brilliant jurist. Although it didn’t nudge Machiavelli Mitch McConnell to allow Garland’s confirmation in 2016, one of his biggest boosters when Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court was then Right-Wing Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

As Alan D. Blotckey writes for AlterNet

To be sure, Trump and his supporters have a bond that is intense and irrational. How to break their collective narcissism is the critical question we face.

The answer is that Donald Trump must be prosecuted and punished for his crimes, especially the ones committed during his presidency, such as obstruction of justice during the Mueller probe, efforts to tamper with Georgia's secretary of state, his incitement of the insurrection and perhaps even conscious disregard or worse for the more than 500,000 coronavirus deaths under his watch.

Trump's reign of terror on the American public was fueled by his belief that he would not be punished for it — that he could break laws with impunity. This is exactly why his prosecution is so important. He must face firm consequences so that his supporters will finally understand and accept the objective truth: Trump is a con man and greedy opportunist who unleashed his cruelty, corruption and anti-democratic leanings on all of us.

Not prosecuting and punishing Trump would send the unacceptable message that certain politicians who engage in wrongdoing are above the law. In our democracy, no one should be above the law. Politicians are our elected officials who must serve with honor, integrity, and the public's best interest at heart. We cannot condone corrupt politicians by sticking our heads in the sand or turning a blind eye. Democracy is weakened if our president's illegalities and misdeeds go unheeded.

Garland suggests that his non-prosecution of Trump and his partners in crime proves that he isn’t “partisan” in prosecuting Republicans, even if they have engaged in a clear case of insurrection.

As noted in a June 19 article in The Week, Garland has bestowed himself with the claim of impartiality because he does not appear in any hurry to prosecute Trump even as “The Big Lie” and “Voter Suppression” (by the way, adding 30 or so more prosecutors to the voting rights division of the GOP will do little to stop the onslaught of GOP voter theft that is developing into a tsunami in 2022), but the real rule of thumb Garland should be operating on is “By definition, the rule of law means that nobody, not even presidents or former presidents, should be able to break the law without consequence.”

Failure to do so is what helps lead to the collapse of democracy and an increase in lawlessness, violence and authoritarianism.

Garland

That Garland would have likely been quick to pursue Hillary Clinton had she been President and committed Trump’s incalculable high crimes and misdemeanors to prove he was not biased is so typical of Democrats who fear being beaten with the “partisan” whip by the Republicans. Equally typical is his failure to acknowledge the treasonous crimes of Donald Trump. A nation in which the rule of law is what holds democracy together cannot survive a Justice department that won’t apply the law to the highest form of treason.

Mark Karlin
BuzzFlash