Former Attorney General Bill Barr was reviled by liberal news outlets as a slippery boot-licking lackey of former President Donald Trump. Now, however, President Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland is affirming many of his predecessor’s positions.
The move isn’t surprising to legal scholars who understand how the justice system works, but it is befuddling for ideological liberals who thought that former AG Bill Barr was former President Donald Trump’s stooge.
Liberals were incensed when former AG Bill Barr supposedly ordered Lafayette Park to be cleared so former President Trump could take a photo in front of St. John Church. Black Lives Matter filed a suit over the order, but AG Garland is defending his predecessor’s position, noting that moving protestors is in order if the security of the President of the United States is at risk, as was the case during last year’s protests.
The protestors had become extremely violent. There were more reported officer injuries during this protest than there were during the Capitol Hill “insurrection” on January 6. The President had to be moved to a bunker for safety reasons, making it clear that removing the protestors by force was the only reasonable decision the Justice Department could make.
The Attorney General is also siding with his predecessor’s stance on a rape case filed against the former President, noting that, as Mr. Barr opined, the DOJ is the rightful defendant in a suit filed as a result of a sitting President’s comments made in an official capacity. Garland has also defended the former President’s decision to oppose Social Security disability benefits for Puerto Ricans, and defended former AG Bill Barr’s controversial decision to not release the full contents of a DOJ memo. According to Garland, there is insufficient evidence to charge the former President with obstruction of justice. The reasoning for the decision remains confidential, a move that even Bloomberg had to concede is in line with standard DOJ procedures.
As head of the Justice Department, the Attorney General is well within his rights to reject former AG Bill Barr’s positions and take a different stance on all the controversial cases outlined above. However, he has decided instead that his predecessor was right on all of the above mentioned legal matters.
There is no way the AG could have ulterior motives for siding with Mr. Barr. After all, it was the former AG’s party that denied him a confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Rather, the Justice Department’s stance makes it clear that, contrary to liberal accusations, Bill Barr was not a lackey of the former President. Rather, he was a legal expert making decisions based on the law and not personal preference.