Right Wing Extremism

Is AG Merrick Garland Sending Concerned Parents To Gitmo? Well We Think He Should Stop!

Oh sure, 'only people doing domestic terrorism will be investigated for domestic terrorism.' Or so he says.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, and found himself explaining over and over and over again that the Department of Justice is not in fact trying to criminalize parents who are angry about mask mandates and accurate US history lessons, however irritating those folks may be. Instead, you see, the DOJ is only interested in preventing violence or threats of violence against educators and school boards. Really, that's different from people spouting dumb Fox News claims about masks and critical race theory.

It's all kind of meta, really: First, rightwing media whipped people into a frenzy about nonexistent threats — masks are tyranny! History lesson harm white kids! — and that led some more excitable assholes on the Right to scream "we know where you live!" at public health officials, to get into actual fistfights with teachers on school grounds, and to vow they'll physically march into school board meetings and "remove" board members. Also, really actually terrible death threats against them and their families.

So when educators and the National School Boards Association requested that the Biden administration do something to keep school boards and teachers safe from such threats, wingnut media and Republican members of Congress have responded by lying about that, too, insisting falsely that an October 4 memorandum from the DOJ represents an attempt to silence all dissent by patriotic parents who merely want to protect their children from knowing real history, or from their inalienable right to spread a deadly lung infection.

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WonkTV

Got Questions for Merrick Garland? Congress Does Too!

Live on WonkTV!

Are you interested in a congressional hearing that is like WHAT THE FUCK, ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND? ARE YOU GOING TO LOCK THEM UP ALL THESE TRUMP PEOPLE? ARE YOU GOING TO LOCK UP DONALD TRUMP FOR TRYING TO STEAL THE ELECTION REPEATEDLY AND IN OUR FACES? ARE YOU GOING TO LOCK UP STEVE BANNON? ARE YOU GOING TO LOCK UP TEXAS FOR THAT GODDAMN ABORTION LAW?

If so, you might enjoy today's hearing in the House Judiciary Committee! Adam Schiff ain't on that committee, but we know he's had some questions. Hopefully he's slipping notes to committee members right this very minute, to make sure all the good questions get asked.

As Axios explains:

The hearing comes as the Justice Department faces a series of contentious issues, including enforcement of the Jan. 6 committee's subpoenas, the crackdown on Texas' new abortion law, the overflowing of migrants at the border, voting rights and more.

Yeah, just a few things folks might want to ask him about. (Republicans will not be asking meaningful questions, or if they do, it will be a complete surprise.)

Watch all day, House committees are enormous:

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justice department

Adam Schiff Is Running Out Of Patience

LOCK THEM UP DAMMIT, said Wonkette, after reading some things Adam Schiff said.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who spent years investigating Donald Trump and all his accomplices in the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigations and who sits on the House's January 6 committee that voted last night to hold Steve Bannon in contempt, is expressing some of the same frustration we expressed in our last blog post. He is very damn ready for there to be some damn accountability for Trump and everybody who surrounds him, and he sounds like he's running out of patience.

Michael Isikoff reports that on the "Skullduggery" podcast Tuesday, Schiff specifically called out Attorney General Merrick Garland for his apparent reluctance to investigate Trump too deeply for literally trying to overthrow America in front of all of our faces.

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Legal

Steve Bannon About To Get That Contempt Citation He's Always Wanted!

Filthy sumbitch 'bout to find out.

Steve Bannon is about to go through some things. The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 invasion of the Capitol is going balls to the wall, and soon we'll find out of the Justice Department is going to step up to the plate.

As expected, Bannon defied the subpoena and failed to show up to testify on October 14. His lawyer Robert Costello, of Michael Cohen pardon dangle fame, sent the Committee a letter claiming that his client's hands were tied because the former president had invoked executive privilege.

And not for nothing, but as the referral resolution notes, Bannon wasn't exactly circumspect. Here's a quote from his January 5 podcast:

It's not going to happen like you think it's going to happen. OK, it's going to be quite extraordinarily different. All I can say is, strap in. [...] You made this happen and tomorrow it's game day. So strap in. Let's get ready. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. [...] So many people said, 'Man, if I was in a revolution, I would be in Washington.' Well, this is your time in history.

Subtle.

The full House vote will take place tomorrow, which is basically light speed in congressional time. Apparently the Republicans are going to vote against it because LOL nothing matters anymore. But Bannon has backed both himself and the Committee into an impossible corner, because if he can get away with blowing off a congressional subpoena, then literally anyone on earth can. Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino, who were employed in the White House on January 6, can at least make colorable claims of executive privilege covering their communications with Trump. But Bannon's assertion is such a transparently bullshit bad faith "fuck you" that the Committee has no choice but to put the pedal to the floor and gun it.

So now they're about to crash into the Justice Department, where Attorney General Merrick Garland is going to have to decide whether (and how fast) to prosecute Bannon for contempt of Congress. And Joe Biden's free-styling about his wish to see people who blow off the Committee prosecuted was not helpful. Because, while the Committee's decision to go after Bannon was an easy one, Garland's is really not. Because, as Politico notes, a successful contempt prosecution will require the government to prove that Bannon knew he was breaking the law, and he's got that nifty letter from his lawyer saying that he isn't. So he'll claim that he was relying on advice of counsel, not deliberately throwing sand in the gears of the investigation, and he might well get away with it.

Which is probably not reassuring to those of us still clinging to the hope that we live in a country with a functioning justice system. But if you want certainty, head on over to the Gateway Pundit or the Epoch Times, where it is always just 10 minutes 'til LOCK HER UP. Over here, we're going to have to make do with reality.

It sucks, man!

[NBC / Politico]

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