The New Yorker appeared to have taken a swipe against Attorney General Merrick Garland over his “fairness and neutrality” stance towards recent DOJ decisions involving former President Trump.
In a piece titled, “The Political, Legal, and Moral Minefield That Donald Trump Left for Merrick Garland,” New Yorker editor David Rohde sounded the alarm that “Some fear that a former judge with a passionate belief in fairness and neutrality cannot effectively counter Trump.”
“A former federal judge who grew up in the Midwest, Garland has a decades-long reputation for centrism. His goal, a senior Justice Department official told me recently, is to demonstrate to Americans that the D.O.J. can act quietly, effectively, and impartially,” Rohde wrote. “But, in an era when being performative and partisan won Trump the White House, some officials question whether Garland’s approach is antiquated. A spate of recent Trump-related decisions that he has made has angered Democrats and led some to question whether a cautious institutionalist and former judge with a passionate belief in the need for fairness and neutrality can effectively counter Trump; some progressives are even calling for Garland’s ouster.”
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Rohde listed recent DOJ decisions like defending Trump in the defamation lawsuit launched by E. Jean Carroll, who had accused the former president of rape, keeping an internal Mueller probe memo from his predecessor William Barr classified, and asking a judge to toss civil lawsuits against the Trump administration involving the forced removal of protesters in Lafayette Square last year.
“The array of politically sensitive Trump-related cases currently before the Garland Justice Department is startling,” Rohde continued. “Garland seems to be counting on a belief that most Americans, exhausted by the Trump years, will welcome his neutrality, probity, and reticence. He is betting that the dictum inscribed in the stately anteroom about pursuing justice will resonate with ordinary Americans. Trump is betting that his lies will.”
The New Yorker raised eyebrows on social media after tweeting its “fairness and neutrality” knock against Garland.
“Wouldn’t want someone [with] a passionate belief in the need for fairness and neutrality to be in charge of…. the department of justice,” Washington Examiner commentator Zachary Faria sarcastically tweeted.
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“fairness and neutrality are canceled,” political commentator Allahpundit declared.
“Remember when the argument for Garland was that he was a centrist who would follow the law and procedure. Now they’re mad he’s not more of a far left activist. I love this so much,” Spectator contributor Stephen Miller reacted.
Notably, Rohde previously expressed panic about the appointment of AG Barr and how President Trump may have empowered a “partisan loyalist” to the Justice Department.
“Former Justice Department and intelligence officials have expressed alarm at Trump’s success at appointing partisan loyalists who they say echo the President’s political messaging,” Rohde wrote in a May 2020 piece.