Merrick Garland + Biden Administration LIVE Events Today (Open Thread)

There are a couple of live Biden Administration events today that might be of interest.

Jen Psaki is up first and I’m betting that she will be asked about Manchin as well as the latest of Omicron, and then President Biden will talk about Covid.  I don’t often make a post for the LIVE Covid events, but things are moving quickly with Omicron so we might get some good information.

Also, there’s an interesting article up on Lawfare today: Merrick Garland Needs to Speak Up

They posit that Merrick Garland needs to speak up, but probably not in the way that you think!

Attorney General Merrick Garland is taking a great deal of criticism these days.

He’s being attacked for not having indicted former President Trump, for not having brought cases faster against witnesses who have defied the Jan. 6 committee, and for not having moved more aggressively against political figures for their supposed involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

These criticisms speak to genuine frustrations with the slow pace of department action. They are also based on two flawed assumptions.

The first is the assumption that the evidence and equities would support prosecutions and, consequently, that the absence of criminal cases reveals weakness or hypercaution on the Justice Department’s part. This may be the case—but it may not. The absence of prosecutions could also reflect inadequacies in the evidence needed to bring cases.

The second problem is the confusion of what has not happened with what has not happened yet. The Justice Department can be very busy without making a lot of noise. The fact that indictments have not materialized so far does not mean they won’t appear tomorrow—or the day after.

But nearly a year into his tenure as attorney general, though much of the criticism of Garland has been unfair or at least premature, the attorney general does have something to answer for: his relative silence.

The article goes on to talk in detail about their issue with Merrick Garland:  his relative silence.

You don’t establish norms, or reestablish them, merely by modeling them. You establish them by articulating them, by talking about them, and by convincing people that they are the right way to behave.

Levi understood this. His speeches and congressional testimonies as attorney general were numerous, highly substantive, and made arguments on behalf of the direction he wished to see the department go. They are a unique body of work among attorneys general, considered intellectually significant enough to have been collected and published as a volume by the University of Chicago Press.

Read the whole thing.  It’s a thoughtful article, not just the blah-blah-blah criticism we hear from people who want the Justice Department to move more quickly than it really can.

Their concern is that Garland doesn’t talk enough about the norms and the changes to return the DOJ to an institution with honor, an institution that is dedicated to justice for all, not dedicated to protecting your cronies or your power.

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Jen Psaki at 1 pm Eastern this afternoon:

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President Biden at 2:30 Eastern this afternoon:

Open thread.

 

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