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Garland Faces GOP Over Weaponized Law Enforcement, Biden’s Fitness

Holland McKinnie
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In congressional hearings this week, Republican lawmakers scrutinized Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland over the Biden administration’s application of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) and Biden’s mental fitness for office. Amid questions about the administration’s transparency and efficacy, Garland’s responses have left GOP lawmakers and conservative observers dissatisfied.

During a budget request hearing for the Justice Department, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) pressed Garland for data on Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutions under the FACE Act. This law prevents interference with access to abortion facilities. The Republicans argue that the law has been disproportionately used against pro-life activists. Garland’s promise that he would  “look into” the matter was met with sharp skepticism — especially since he has repeatedly refused to release requested information on the subject to the committee. Garland’s evasiveness is working to support the argument the DOJ is selectively enforcing federal law to target conservative groups and persons.

The hearings also veered into the territory of Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities, following the report by Special Counsel Robert Hur on Biden’s handling of classified documents. Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) asked Garland about Hur’s description of Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Garland defended the president, asserting his “complete confidence” in Biden’s cognitive capabilities and rejecting any suggestions of impairment.

Garland’s repeated assurances about Biden’s fitness came without any specific details about the actual concerns outlined in Hur’s report. As a result, his performance did little in reality to stem the tide of the growing public perception that Biden is not mentally competent to serve in the nation’s top office.

The ongoing tension between the politicized Biden DOJ and Republican lawmakers over the FACE Act and the president’s mental fitness raises questions about the balance of power and the political motivations behind federal law enforcement decisions. Garland’s assurances of looking into GOP concerns about the FACE Act have not convinced those who see the DOJ’s actions as part of a broader pattern of aggressive bias against conservative causes. Similarly, his defense of Biden’s cognitive health, without directly addressing the nuances in Hur’s report, doesn’t pass the straight-face test.