Why Is Merrick Garland missing


He’s missing because he is an institutionalist who serves a president Joe Biden steeped in the politics of the 20th century who believes in bipartisanship and consensus with the goal being what’s best for the country.  Garland is cut from that same cloth. Very traditional and intensely aware of the value of America’s institutions and the need to preserve them at all costs.  Why hasn’t Garland gone after such a criminally visible President as Trump?  No American president has been indicted for crimes they committed while in office even after they left office.  The case for doing so with Trump is he could not run for reelection, something he’s said he wants to do.  The Mueller Report left open the possibility Trump could be indicted for obstruction of justice but some would argue the precedent for doing that in the case of Trump who certainly deserves it risk criminalizing politics and entanglements that could weaken the legal fabric of the country.   

The mere act of impeaching Trump for widely demonstrated abuses has brought calls for Biden’s impeachment by Republicans if they take control of Congress while Biden is in office for no other reason than they can and they want to make him look as bad as Trump. Institutionalists would likely argue this kind of tit for tat partisanship would destroy the fabric of the country. An alternative to prosecuting a corrupt President would be to go after the circle of advisors caught in presidential scandal and there’s plenty of fodder for Garland to do that.  The January 6 insurrection has offered up a whole host of criminals the DOJ is pursuing but even that seems to be a halfhearted effort but one the Department can point to as doing its job. However, most likely DOJ also sees as part of its job avoiding the criminal prosecution of Trump as its best course of action in these volatile political times. As for the possibility a criminal such as Trump could run for office again, institutionalists would say if his crimes were widely known by the electorate Trump would be rejected as unfit for office.  However, after four years of widely known abuses of power, Trump got more votes in the 2020 election than he did in 2016 so there doesn’t seem to be much wisdom floating around in the public about Trump’s criminality.

Garland is a member of the Federalist Society and a Republicans who probably believes in the legal philosophies of restraint and adherence to precedent. Since there is no precedent for indicting a criminal former President, Garland seems reluctant to do so and especially a President from his own Party with a considerable national following. However, not prosecuting Trump runs the real risk he could return to office; state legislatures controlled by Republicans have been busy solidifying voter suppression and their hold on elections commissions. In so doing they can affect the outcome of elections and possibly oversee the return of Trump to office.  It is not wise to trust the American electorate during these times of Qanon and a rampantly running alternative facts-based media ecosystem but institutionalists like Garland see that as a more viable alternative than their insertion in the process which would lead to Trump not being able to run for office again.  This is the sad reality America faces at the moment; there is a legal system that has all the tools it needs to keep in check a criminal, potential President but an Attorney General who isn’t inclined to do what’s necessary to keep that candidate out of office despite overwhelming evidence he should be kept out of office.

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