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The Brief: Merrick Garland Trashes the Constitution with his Selective Prosecution of Steve Bannon

Gregg is joined by veteran criminal defense attorney and longtime civil rights lawyer David Schoen who was Bannon’s attorney during the trial

Photo by Oliver Contreras - Pool/Getty Images

“Equal Justice Under Law” is chiseled on the pediment of the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s an inviolate principle that our founders held dear.
But Attorney General Merrick Garland doesn’t give a damn. Which means the nation is lucky that he was prevented from sitting on the high court in a lifetime appointment. Imagine the damage he might have done. He doesn’t have the strength of character or respect for the rule of law to serve on the Supreme Court.

It turns out that Garland is nothing more than a petty political hack who does the bidding of the Democratic Party and its senile leader, Joe Biden, who has weaponized the Department of Justice as a political cudgel to bludgeon their opponents. Sadly, they’re succeeding.

Garland must have skipped the constitutional law class on the storied concept of “equal protection.” Or maybe someone punked him by cutting out the Fourteenth Amendment in his con law book. Either way, our attorney general doesn’t uphold the law, he holds it in contempt.

The prosecution and conviction of former Trump adviser, Steve Bannon, is a case in point. Nancy Pelosi’s one-sided J-6 committee accused him of criminal contempt of Congress when he flipped them the middle finger after being summoned to testify. Naturally, Garland took his marching orders and promptly leveled charges against Bannon for crimes that Democrats are never prosecuted. That’s called “selective prosecution.” It undermines the rule of law and is the favorite tool of authoritarians who operate under the pretense of equal justice.

You’ll recall that Eric Holder, Obama’s unscrupulous Attorney General, did exactly what Bannon did but was never prosecuted. It was, of course, convenient that he was the AG when he told Congress to eat dirt when questioned about his deadly Mexican gun-running fiasco. Was he going to prosecute himself for contempt? Not a chance. Ignoring the blatant conflict of interest, Holder refused to appoint a neutral special counsel as the law requires. Instead, he kicked it to his inspector general who declined to recommend charging his own boss.

Then there was James Clapper, Obama’s sleazy Director of National Intelligence, who lied to Congress about the NSA’s massive secret intelligence gathering on tens of millions of Americans. Was he ever prosecuted for perjury or contempt of Congress? No way. Holder saw to it that his pal would face no legal consequences. Clapper went on to pocket big bucks as a CNN commentator, feeding non-stop disinformation to viewers about the great Russian hoax.

Fast forward to Merrick Garland, Biden’s DOJ toady. His tenure as Attorney General can only be described as disgraceful. Does anyone honestly doubt that he’s been running a protection racket for Hunter Biden and the myriad of enrichment crimes he committed in selling access to his powerful father in exchange for millions of dollars from foreign entities in China, Russia, and Ukraine? If a Republican’s kid did the same thing, he’d be charged with influence-peddling, money laundering, foreign lobbying crimes, and even racketeering. But good ‘ol Dad’s AG will see to it that it all disappears. How else do you explain a 5-year investigation that has produced no charges?

Garland’s unconscionable decision to treat concerned parents as domestic terrorists because they dared to complain to local school boards about the teaching of the dubious critical race theory speaks volumes about the Attorney General’s lack of integrity and decency. His order to sic the FBI on moms and dads to silence their dissent constitutes brazen political intimidation. His thuggish abuse of power should turn your stomach.

The Bannon case was more of the same. It didn’t matter to Garland that the subpoena to testify was legally improper because it failed to comply with congressional rules. Pelosi deliberately violated those rules when she rejected the Republican-appointed members and then chose her own, thus rendering the committee illegitimate and its subpoena power invalid under House rules. Garland skipped that part.

Garland also glossed over how Bannon relied on prior Justice Department opinions that presidential advisers are immune from congressional subpoenas, especially where the president involved has asserted executive privilege –which does, by the way, apply to non-government employees who advise a president. Garland took the nutball position that Joe Biden somehow held the privilege in a conversation in which he was not a participant. You’d have to smoke some serious ganja to make sense of that one.
At trial, the judge neutered Bannon’s defense by preventing him from making those arguments. So, Bannon subpoenaed his accusers –the J-6 committee members– who had subpoenaed him. They refused to testify…just as he did. But it was okay for them to defy a subpoena. Just not Steve. After the verdict, Bannon said, “I only have one disappointment, and that is the gutless members of that show trial committee —the J-6 committee— didn’t have the guts to come down here and testify in open court.”
Bannon was deprived of confronting his accusers. But that didn’t seem to bother either the trial judge or Garland. Maybe they both slept through the same class where the Sixth Amendment was discussed.

Garland knew he could gain an easy conviction of Bannon. In DC, the game is fixed. Jurors there hate Trump. 92% voted for Biden in the last election. A scant 5% cast ballots for Trump. Washington jurors who reside in the seat of government power are hyper-politicized. It’s in the drinking water. If you’re a Democrat, you get acquitted –a sure thing. You can bet the farm on it. Just ask Greg Craig or Michael Sussmann. But if you’re a Republican, bring your toothbrush ‘cause you’re headed to the hoosegow. Just ask Roger Stone or Paul Manafort.

Garland didn’t care if Bannon’s trial was fair or not. That’s a pesky and trifling matter. For him, it’s all about punishing those deplorable Republicans –hat tip to Hillary– who denied him his life-long dream of wearing a black robe on the Supreme Court. Since then, every malevolent move by him has been an act of retribution. He wants his pound of flesh.

The truth is that Biden’s chronically obtuse and politically ruthless Attorney General is an ugly stain on our system of justice. He refused to enforce the law when abortion activists staged profane and threatening protests outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court Justices in a flagrant attempt to harass them into reversing their draft opinion in the Dobbs case. Garland wouldn’t recognize obstruction of justice if it slapped him upside the head. It’s just one more example of how liberal Democrats have bastardized politics into the art of vengeance.