The White House responded to talk of impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Merrick Garland by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during a June 26 press briefing by reiterating that “the President respects the Department of Justice’s independence, he respects the rule of law, and that is what you’re going to see under this administration.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre went on to say that President Joe Biden is focusing on things like the economy and other issues that are the “priorities of the American people.”
Jean-Pierre pivoted to talking about the administration’s desire to “continue to build on the success that we’ve seen the last two years continue to lower costs,” as well as other administration legislative successes, such as the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, and noted that the administration is concerned with maintaining jobs growth and focusing on reproductive health for Americans.
“We would welcome congressional Republicans to join us on working on behalf of the American people working on the priorities that they care about, working on lowering costs for American families across the country,” Jean-Pierre said.
“The president’s going to talk about investing in America … And it’s unfortunate that congressional Republicans want to continue to focus on an issue that Americans aren’t—that’s not their priority.
McCarthy made headlines over the weekend when he announced that if whistleblower allegations were true, there needs to be an impeachment inquiry into Garland’s alleged “weaponization of the DOJ.”
McCarthy sent a tweet on the issue Sunday, including a link to a letter with details about the testimony from IRS Whistleblower Gary Shapley, who testified that David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney in charge of the Hunter Biden investigation, had said he wanted to bring charges in Washington D.C. but was denied.
The letter stated that “Weiss told six witnesses that he did not have authority to charge in other districts and had thus requested special counsel status … [the witnesses] independently and contemporaneously corroborated Mr. Shapley’s account…”
McCarthy commented on the letter, saying, “We need to get to the facts, and that includes reconciling these clear disparities. U.S. Attorney David Weiss must provide answers to the House Judiciary Committee. If the whistleblowers’ allegations are true, this will be a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland’s weaponization of DOJ.”
The allegations were made public on June 22, and Garland told reporters afterward that the allegations were not true. According to Garland, Weiss was “permitted to … make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to, and in any district in which he wanted to,” and was “given complete authority to make all decisions on his own.”
McCarthy also commented on the possibility of impeachment during a June 26 appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” explaining that because of a marked difference between the testimony of the whistleblowers and what Weiss said privately, “if it comes true, what the IRS whistleblower is saying, we’re going to start impeachment inquiries on the Attorney General.”
The House Speaker has given his chamber of Congress a July 6 deadline to ascertain whether there was a contradiction in the stories.
Recently, U.S. Attorney David Weiss filed two misdemeanor tax charges against the president’s son, Hunter Biden, resulting in a plea deal.
Previous Articles of Impeachment Against Garland
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) announced on May 17 that she had filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland for “facilitating the weaponization and politicization of the United States justice system against the American people.”
In the articles of impeachment, Greene cited a variety of issues, including the FBI’s involvement in the decisions of parents concerned about their children’s education, attacks on pro-life centers, intimidating protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, and the pursuit of charges against former President Donald Trump.
Greene claimed in her articles of impeachment that Garland was “persecuting” Trump because he had refused to turn over classified documents following a subpoena in August 2022, when the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Greene further claimed that Garland was not “focusing on prosecuting Antifa and Black Lives Matters rioters that have desecrated American cities and caused billions of dollars worth of public and private property damage” but rather “[overseeing] the persecution of Americans for participating in political protest.”
The DOJ also came under fire in 2021 for inserting itself into the issue of parents’ involvement in school board meetings and school policies, ranging from COVID regulations to progressive curricula, including critical race theory.
In an Oct. 4, 2021, memorandum, Garland called on the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Offices to conduct meetings with federal, state, and local officials in every federal district in order to “facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff” so that there are “open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”
The DOJ’s move was in direct response to a letter sent by the National School Boards Association to President Joe Biden, warning about threats against school facilities and comparing parents to domestic terrorists.