The FBI had scarcely left Mar-a-Lago when former President Trump’s allies, led by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) began a bombardment of vitriol and threats against the man they see as a foe and foil: Attorney General Merrick Garland. “Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday. Garland, a bookish former judge who during his unsuccessful Supreme Court nomination in 2016 told senators that he did not have “a political bone” in his body, responded by not responding, the New York Times reports. The Justice Department would not acknowledge the execution of a search warrant at Mr. Trump’s home on Monday, nor would Garland’s aides confirm his involvement or even whether he knew about the search before it was conducted. Garland is hoping to navigate multifaceted investigation into the actions of Trump and his supporters after the 2020 election without compromising the integrity of the prosecution.
The attorney general is operating with a maximum of stealth and a minimum of public comment, a course similar to the one charted by special counsel Robert Mueller during his two-year investigation of Trump’s connections to Russia. “Garland has said that he wants his investigation to be apolitical, but nothing he does will stop Trump from distorting the perception of the investigation, given the asymmetrical rules,” said Andrew Weissmann, a former Mueller aide. Senior Justice Department officials view then-FBI Director James Comey’s willingness to openly discuss his 2016 investigations related to Trump and Hillary Clinton as a gross violation of the Justice Manual, the department’s procedural guidebook. Garland says "we will and we must speak through our work. Anything else jeopardizes the viability of our investigations and the civil liberties of our citizens.”