June 5, 2024

Massie Grills Garland on Special Counsel and Release of J6 Prisoners

Attorney General Merrick Garland was back on the Hill this week getting grilled over Special Counsel Jack Smith, January 6 prisoners, and the weaponizing of the DOJ against Trump.

While Democrats did their usual gushing and defending of Garland, the GOP was relentless in calling out Garland.

In particular, Rep. Massie (R-KY) was on fire, drilling Garland until he sounded like he was going to cry.

In the Hot Seat

Massie started by hammering Garland on the constitutionality of appointing Jack Smith as special counsel.

This issue has come up on several fronts, with Massie asking Garland, "What gives you the authority to appoint a special counsel to create…you've created an office in the U.S. government that does not exist without authorization from Congress.”

Massie cited an amicus brief that had been filed by former Attorney General Ed Meese (Ronald Reagan), stating that the appointment was a violation of the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

Then Massie went after Garland for another possible violation, asking him if he was going to respect a possible order by the Supreme Court to release more than 300 January 6 prisoners who were possibly illegally prosecuted.

Here is the exchange between these two…

If you recall, once the GOP started to object to Jack Smith as special counsel, there were questions then being asked about Barr’s appointment of John Durham, which had similar circumstances.

To that exact point, Garland told Massie, "There are regulations under which the Attorney General appoint Special Counsel, they have been in effect for 30 years, maybe longer, under both parties.

“The matter that you're talking about, about whether somebody can have an employee of the Justice Department serve as special counsel has been adjudicated.”

Massie pushed back, "It seems like you've created an office that would require an act of Congress, yet there's not an act of Congress that authorizes that.

“And even if it didn't require an act of Congress, and you've already admitted that there was no act of Congress that established this office, it would still require, according to the Constitution, a nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate.”

I think Massie is probably on the wrong side of this one, and while it makes great TV, I seriously doubt the appointment of Jack Smith will be disallowed.

As far as the release of the January 6 prisoners based on the statute that Massie cited, on that, we will just have to wait to see what the Supreme Court has to say about it.

Don't Wait
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