AG Merrick Garland Vows to Step Down If Biden Seeks Trump Probe
AG Merrick Garland Vows to Step Down If Biden Seeks Trump Probe

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

In an interview that aired on Oct. 1, Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated he would resign if President Joe Biden requested him to participate in investigations into former President Donald Trump.

“I am sure that that will not happen, but I would not do anything in that regard,” Mr. Garland said when asked on CBS News’s “60 Minutes” what his reaction would be if the president asked him “to take action with regard to the Trump investigation.”

“And if necessary, I would resign. But there is no sense that anything like that will happen,” Mr. Garland continued.

The attorney general responded, “No,” when asked if he had ever had to warn President Biden to keep his influence out of the process, adding that the president “has never tried to put hands on these investigations.”

Mr. Garland tried to reinforce the Justice Department’s autonomy and address a wide variety of topics in the interview, stating that neither he nor any other member of the administration had spoken with special counsel Jack Smith regarding the federal proceedings involving President Trump.

“The most important aspect of the regulations is that the special counsel is not subject to the day-to-day supervision of anyone in the Justice Department,” Mr. Garland said.

He also refuted reports that special counsel David Weiss, who is looking into first son Hunter Biden, was “slow walking” the probe.

“Well, look. This investigation began under David Weiss,” Mr. Garland said in the interview. “David Weiss is a longstanding career prosecutor, and he was appointed by Mr. Trump as the United States attorney for the district of Delaware. I promised at my nomination hearing that I would continue him on in that position and that I would not interfere with his investigation.”

In the New York civil fraud case brought against him, President Trump took a prominent role, appearing in court at the last minute on Oct. 2 to make remarks to the press, staring down cameras once inside the courtroom, and making yet another speech to the press during a break in the proceedings.

“This is a disgraceful situation,” President Trump said during a break. “Murders are going on as you stand here. They’re wasting everybody’s time for many months with this case where banks got paid a fortune, loan money got paid back. Didn’t even need that [loan] money. We built a great company, and we have to go through this.”

President Trump said the appeals court decision from June was favorable, throwing out “80 percent of the case.”

He went on to assert that “this judge refuses to acknowledge the ruling, which is very plain for all to see.”

The ruling asserted that the New York Attorney General Letitia James didn’t have grounds to sue President Trump, causing the case to be narrowed to just include dealings made after Feb. 6, 2016, and claims made after July 13, 2014. Due to her resignation from the Trump Organization in 2016, former first daughter Ivanka Trump was no longer named as a defendant following this ruling.

Last month, the former president, who is also running for election again in the upcoming 2024 presidential election, promised that he would appoint a task force to investigate alleged political persecution by the Biden administration.

On Sept. 15, before over a thousand people at the Pray, Vote, Stand Summit in Washington, the 77-year-old former president and leading Republican candidate made the pledge.

“To reverse these cruel travesties of justice, tonight I’m announcing that the moment I win the election, I will appoint a special task force to rapidly review the cases of every political prisoner who has been unjustly persecuted by the Biden administration,” President Trump said.

The former president also asserted that he would swiftly assess the cases of people he has labeled political prisoners and “sign their pardons or commutations on day one.”

“It’s a horrible thing what’s happening—22 years, 18 years, 10 years. It’s a terrible thing,” President Trump said. Though he did not mention specific cases, a 22-year prison sentence was recently given to Enrique Tarrio, former leader of the Proud Boys, for crimes related to Jan. 6.

President Trump went on to say, “There’s never been a thing like this happen in our country.”

Catherine Yang contributed to this report.

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