DON'T WAIT.

We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:

TOP STORIES

Latest News

Ted Cruz goes off on Merrick Garland, accuses him of ignoring threats against Supreme Court

By Ben Marquis
|
March 2, 2023

Attorney General Merrick Garland, the head of President Joe Biden's Department of Justice, has been accused by some Republicans of displaying political bias by way of his decisions on which alleged federal crimes to prosecute or let slide.

Those accusations came to a head Wednesday in the form of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his pointed questions for Garland during a heated back-and-forth during a committee hearing, the Daily Mail reported.

The Republican Texas senator accused the Democrat-appointed attorney general of having politicized the DOJ, evidenced by his apparent refusal to prosecute leftist protesters outside the homes of Supreme Court justices while fully prosecuting pro-life advocates protesting outside of abortion clinics.

"You did nothing" to prosecute threats against justices

Sen. Cruz first referenced AG Garland's prior reputation for being "relatively nonpartisan" as a judge and how he hoped that would be the same for his tenure at the DOJ, "but I have to say I am deeply disappointed at what the last two years have shown. In my judgment, the Department of Justice has been politicized to the greatest extent I’ve ever seen in this country."

Cruz then referenced 18 U.S.C. 1507, which makes it a federal crime to protest "with the intent of influencing" outside the home of a judge, and asked if there had been any prosecutions under that statute against the hundreds of protesters who repeatedly assembled outside the homes of Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices after the leak of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

"You did nothing. The department did nothing. When extremist groups like Ruth Sent Us and Jane's Revenge openly organized campaigns of harassment at the homes of justices, you sat on your hands," Cruz said.

He further noted that while the groups had even posted online information about where the justices lived, where they went to church, and where their children went to school, "you again sat on your hands and did nothing."

The senator did acknowledge that the DOJ had prosecuted one individual who had sought to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but then reiterated his question about if the above statute had been applied to any of the hundreds of protesters who picketed and paraded nightly outside the homes of the Republican justices.

A simple "yes" or "no" question

For his part, according to Fox News, Attorney General Garland replied that he had ordered the unprecedented deployment of 70 U.S. Marshals to help guard the homes of the targeted justices, but that didn't answer Sen. Cruz's question, so he reiterated the "yes/no" question as Garland continued to simply reference the Marshals on guard duty in response.

"So the answer is 'no,'" Cruz said, cutting off Garland. "The answer is no. Why aren't you willing to say no? You know it's no; I know it's no; everyone in this hearing room knows it's no. You're not willing to answer the question. Have you brought a case under the statute, yes or no?"

"As far as I know, we haven't," the attorney general finally replied. "What we have done is defended the lives of the justices with 70 U.S. Marshals."

There then ensued a debate over who makes the decision whether to prosecute certain crimes or not, with Cruz asserting that the decision was ultimately up to prosecutors and the attorney general himself while Garland sought to shift that discretion to the Marshals and whether or not they make an arrest.

Disparity in prosecutions of pro-abortion vs. pro-life activists

Sen. Cruz then shifted gears and asked AG Garland about the apparent disparity in how relatively few pro-abortion activists have been arrested and prosecuted for dozens of incidents of firebombing or vandalizing pro-life pregnancy centers in comparison to heavy-handed FBI raids and full prosecutions against pro-life activists who protest outside abortion clinics.

He specifically referenced the case of Mark Houck, a pro-life "sidewalk counselor" who was recently acquitted following a federal prosecution over an altercation several years ago outside an abortion clinic with a pro-abortion activist. Houck had been arrested at his home in front of his wife and children by "two dozen agents clad in body armor and ballistic helmets and shields and a battering ram."

Garland claimed in response that the firebombing incidents were a top "priority" for the DOJ but were difficult to prosecute since they occurred "at night" and "in secret." He also sought to dodge any responsibility for authorizing the tactical raid to arrest Houck, who had volunteered to turn himself in, and disputed the descriptions of how that arrest was conducted.

Democratic committee chair Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) then interrupted to inform Cruz that his time had expired and a brief argument ensued between the two senators about letting Garland finish his response to Cruz's final question about whether the raid had been a "mistake" and unnecessary.