Liberals have criticized Attorney General Merrick Garland’s handling of the investigation into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, with some even calling for his replacement.
“So far, Merrick Garland is failing the United States of America,” Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro said on CNN Sunday, adding that “Trump is a threat to our democracy, and we need to treat him like one” in a tweet Sunday night.
Castro’s comments come after President Joe Biden had reportedly expressed frustration with the pace of the probe and wished Garland would take decisive action, according to a report from The New York Times on Saturday. Members of the House Jan. 6 committee have also complained about the Justice Department’s failure to rapidly seek prosecution over referrals for contempt of Congress after some Trump allies have failed to comply with subpoenas.
“The Department of Justice also needs to move swiftly,” Democratic Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria said on MSNBC last week.
Last October, the Justice Department rebuked the White House after Biden called for swifter action to prosecute some contempt cases tied to congressional subpoenas.
“The Department of Justice will make its own independent decisions in all prosecutions based solely on the facts and the law,” the agency said in a statement.
The frustration with the pace of the investigation has led some to call on President Biden to replace Garland with a more aggressive prosecutor.
“It’s time for a group of respected, experienced, influential legal eagles to sign a letter to President Biden demanding the firing of Merrick Garland,” Cheri Jacobus, a former Republican political strategist, posted on Twitter. “It has to happen, and this can give Biden some political cover. The status quo cannot stand.”
Opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, who Politico described as “one of the most reliable defenders of the Biden administration” last year, called for Garland’s replacement in a Monday op-ed.
“If Biden is displeased with Garland — or finds he lacks the necessary qualities to conduct the sort of investigation our fragile democracy requires — Biden can replace him,” she wrote in The Washington Post. “He has every right to a new attorney general who embraces the public, educational nature of the job and who will push back aggressively against institutional reticence and wariness of disrupting outmoded conventions.”
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley argued that the leaks about Biden’s frustration are intended to pressure Garland into prosecution while granting Biden cover.
“These are statements made to aides that were then leaked to the media to get to Garland,” Turley wrote on his blog. “That allows the media to say that Biden never said it directly to Garland, but the message was delivered by the media.”
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.