A senior member of the House Judiciary Committee insists that impeachment is “not an empty threat” for Attorney General Merrick Garland, after two whistleblowers alleged that Garland and other Justice Department officials interfered with an IRS investigation of President Joe Biden’s son.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told “Fox & Friends” on Monday: “If it comes true what the IRS whistleblower is saying, we are going to start impeachment inquiries on the attorney general.”
Later Monday, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., concurred.
“From the start, AG Garland has allowed partisan politics to hold sway in the Justice Department—including the unprecedented targeting of parents,” Issa told The Daily Signal in an email.
The Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the Justice Department, also is the committee that determines whether to send articles of impeachment to the House floor.
“The Congress can’t just look away from the culture of corruption that’s there for all to see, and the possibility of impeachment has to be on the table,” Issa said in the email. “It’s not an empty threat.”
Garland already was under fire for supporting a request by the National School Boards Association to target parents who spoke up in protest at local school board meetings, as well as for what many GOP lawmakers allege has been a politicized and weaponized Justice Department.
What’s different about the two whistleblowers’ allegations is the specific charge that the attorney general used his position to obstruct the IRS investigation into Hunter Biden for failing to file income tax returns.
Gary Shapley, a 14-year veteran of the IRS, in sworn testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, said that U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss, who was overseeing the overall investigation of the younger Biden, sought special counsel status to have more independence in prosecuting the case.
Weiss also wanted to bring separate charges against Biden, 53, in the District of Columbia and California. However, Weiss said Justice Department officials in Washington rejected the requests, Shapley testified.
For his part, Garland said Friday that his understanding was that Weiss, as U.S. attorney for Delaware, “would be permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any [federal] district in which he wanted to,” Garland said.
However, GOP lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee aren’t convinced.
“Merrick Garland’s tenure at DOJ has been a disgrace, and he has led and allowed the DOJ to become a political organization,” Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, told The Daily Signal in an email.
“The House Judiciary Committee will continue its due diligence to investigate these abuses, and the latest situation involving the U.S. Attorney David Weiss, to provide answers the American people deserve,” Johnson said. “We will hold this administration accountable.”
Garland also has much to answer for regarding his past statements, said Rep. Thomas Tiffany, R-Wis., another Judiciary member.
“Attorney General Garland pledged in his confirmation that he would pursue the law without fear or favor, and based on the IRS whistleblowers’ testimonies, that has not been the case,” Tiffany told The Daily Signal in an email. “The American people deserve the facts, and I support a full investigation by the House Judiciary Committee into whether or not AG Garland put his own political bias on the scales of justice for the Biden family.”
Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va., who has experience in investigations as a former assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Virginia, says the Judiciary Committee will follow the evidence.
“DOJ Attorney General Merrick Garland has ignored his responsibility to the Constitution and to the American people to impartially enforce our nation’s laws,” Cline told The Daily Signal in an email. “As the House Judiciary Committee considers whether the attorney general has violated that public trust, we will continue to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”
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