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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Attorney General Merrick Garland Royally Screwed Joe Biden

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on February 12, 2024

IMAGE: President Joe Biden (left), with Merrick Garland (right).

An Editorial Opinion


Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions betrayed then-president Donald Trump.  Trump got rid of Sessions, as he should have done.


Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland royally screwed President Joe Biden when the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a well-written report that highlighted Biden’s senility.


On May 26, 2023, I proclaimed that Merrick Garland is the most useless Attorney General in modern history.  Today, Politico reports that the Biden White House has reached the same conclusion.


I explained the role of the U.S. Attorney General in a December 9, 2021, article.  Here is what’s important about the Office of Attorney General:


"First, the President appoints the U.S. Attorney General as a member of the executive branch of government. The Attorney General is a cabinet member just like the dozen or so other cabinet members who serve at the pleasure of the President.  Nothing in the U.S. Constitution places the Attorney General beyond the supervisory reach of the President. He/she is directly answerable to the President.

Attorneys General at the state level are constitutional officers who run for statewide office and operate independently of the governor in their respective states. They are directly answerable to the people, and only the people.

Second, the Attorney General's job in the federal system is to advance and protect the President's public policy initiatives using the federal legal apparatus to achieve this result. He/she also has a concomitant duty to enforce the labyrinth of more than 8,000 federal civil and criminal laws.

Contrary to popular opinion, an unelected U.S. Attorney General is not free to detach himself/herself from the President who appointed him/her so that he/she can implement a separate, independent, and unsupervised federal law enforcement agenda. The DOJ does not join the President, Congress, and federal judiciary as a fourth branch of government.

Third, the U.S. Constitution gives the President carte blanc authority to nullify the work of the Attorney General in the enforcement of federal criminal laws, with no questions asked. This grant of power was not an oversight in drafting, passing, and ratifying the Constitution. Instead, it was an express grant of power by the people to the President to overrule judicial outcomes that do not suit his liking.

The President enjoys the unilateral and unreviewable right to pardon convicted federal inmates, commute their sentences to time served, and/or grant them executive clemency. The President does not need anybody's permission or approval to exercise this power. The pardon power is the ultimate supervisory authority over the Attorney General."


President/Attorney General Pairings Matter

America is best served when its President and Attorney General are both strong personalities and are in sync with each other. Our system of laws has always been used as a tool to drive and/or undergird public policy.

President John Kennedy placed his brother Robert in the Attorney General's job to cover his back and push his Presidential agenda. Both men were rich, strong, and powerful leaders. They went to the brink of a nuclear showdown to keep Russia from becoming an influential military power in the Western Hemisphere.

President Lyndon B. Johnson had a strong Attorney General in Nicholas Katzenbach. Their personal strength and aggressive leadership styles produced the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. No successors as President and Attorneys General have come close to matching Johnson's and Katzenbach's personal strength, vision for the future, and domestic accomplishments for Americans of color and poor people.


Barack Obama selected Eric Holder as his Attorney General. Both of these men were highly likeable, but weak and ineffective in office.  In their minds, Obama and Holder mistakenly confused celebrity status with political strength.  Lyndon B. Johnson and Katzenbach accomplished more for African- Americans than Obama and Holder ever attempted.


Joe Biden is weak, frail, and tired, and so is Attorney General Merrick Garland. More than three years after Biden assumed office in January 2021, Merrick Garland still employs avowed Trump loyalists and sophisticated white supremacists as U.S. Attorneys in southern states.  

What is worse, Garland's DOJ is notorious for "fixing" criminal cases for major utilities like the Atlanta-based Southern Company and Wall Street banks like Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republican Bank in 2023. The DOJ's "fixer-in-chief" was Kenneth Polite, who was Garland's handpicked chief of the Department's Criminal Division. Polite left the Department in July for a lucrative private sector job.

"Fixing" criminal cases for politically connected corporations and individuals remains a signature feature of the Merrick Garland DOJ.

Today, everybody in Washington realizes that Merrick Garland is a walking disgrace.

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(13. 2.)

I am not least surprise over Merrick Garland's latest development. From little I know about him, I'd assumed appointing him as Attorney General would prove his lack the energeticness to function effectively in this capacity. I based my opinion on his ineffectiveness to prosecute a single felony case involving mass murder, or hate crime, anywhere in the nation in the four years he served as Attorney General. Just look at how poorly he's handled January 6, insurrection.

Barack Obama nominated to Garland to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthon Scalia after his passing in February 2016. Fortunately, for America, the Republican majority in the Senate managed to stall his confirmation for more than eight consecutive months and didn't confirm…

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