Jun 15, 2021 • 18M

Is Merrick Garland all that bad?

Marcy Wheeler explains, and also offers more about the Trump administration surveillance of members of Congress and their families.

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Michelangelo Signorile
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I’ve been very hard on Merrick Garland, particularly after the news of the DOJ defense of Trump in the E. Jean Carroll defamation and rape case, something most legal scholars are baffled about. And there are other concerns. And I’m with those legal scholars and experts who share them.

Marcy Wheeler, who I interview often, agrees with the concerns, but also sees more nuance and offered it on my SiriusXM program yesterday. A long-time, indispensable national security and civil liberties journalist at her site EmptyWheel, she made feel a little less worried in what Garland is doing, including underscoring the Rudy Giuliani investigation, the insurrections investigations and other investigations into Trump World. And she cautions that things take times.

Marcy is by no means an apologist for the DOJ — any administration’s DOJ — so I trust her take. I’d rather Biden have chosen someone else as attorney general, but at the same time it may not be as bad as it all seems, and we may see investigations ramp up. We get into it all later in this interview, so listen in.

Early on in the interview, Marcy explains the true nature of the Trump administration’s surveillance of members of Congress, obtaining metadata from House members Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, their staffs and their families, and perhaps others, in a unprecedented abuse of power. We also learned the DOJ obtained the data of White House Counsel Don McGahn and his wife.

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But again, Marcy offers details and nuance which explain a lot. Those doing the searching — and Jeff Sessions, Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein claim they knew nothing about it — didn’t apparently know whose information they were getting, until later when the numbers matched names of prominent people. It was at that point that it should have been put under seal — and instead it was continued even after it turned up nothing.

Again, Marcy explains details you’re just not going to get in much of the media so listen in to what she has to say and let me know your thoughts.