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Garland responds after GOP senators raise concerns about ‘politicized’ Justice Department

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Attorney General Merrick Garland listens during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. The Justice Department has charged three men in a plot to kill an Iranian American author and activist who has spoken out against human rights abuses in Iran, officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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FILE - A sign for the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons is displayed in the Brooklyn borough of New York, July 6, 2020. A bill requiring the federal Bureau of Prisons to overhaul failing and outdated security systems in the wake of rampant staff sexual abuse, inmate escapes and high-profile deaths has passed the House. The measure was approved by a voice vote on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Attorney General Merrick Garland listens during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. The Justice Department has charged three men in a plot to kill an Iranian American author and activist who has spoken out against human rights abuses in Iran, officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (TND) — Some difficult questions are being raised about the way forward for the Department of Justice.

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Some difficult questions are being raised about the way forward for the Department of Justice. (TND)< >

The unprecedented DOJ raid at the home of former President Donald Trump in August happened only after major clashes within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a new report by the Washington Post claims.

According to the report, as prosecutors “urged the FBI to conduct a surprise raid at the property,” other agents “resisted the plan wanting instead to seek Trump’s permission” highlighting deep divisions before, during and after the raid.

Tensions had apparently been heightened after mistakes were made in previous probes, including that of Hillary Clinton and ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Some Republican senators listed examples of what they view as a politicized Justice Department, contrasting two situations: arrests made of pro-life activists and not of people protesting outside of the home of Supreme Court justices following the leak of the Dobbs decision that effectively overturned Roe v. Wade.

Some difficult questions are being raised about the way forward for the Department of Justice. (UpNorthLive)

“When rioters descended at the homes of six Supreme Court Justices night after night after night, you did nothing. The Department did nothing,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Attorney General Merrick Garland shot back, saying, “For the first time in history I ordered United States Marshals 24-7 to defend every residence of every justice,” though he also said that since none of the protesters had been arrested by the marshals, none had been prosecuted.

There are also concerns about a lack of oversight at the DOJ after a former special agent, Charles McGonigal, was arrested for taking money from a Russian oligarch that is closely tied to Vladimir Putin.

In a recent interview with Sinclair, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said it was concerning.

“Look, it’s deeply troubling anytime you have someone who is so senior, and who has so much influence, and it was a boatload of money what he was providing to them, was potentially devastating,” Stewart said.

Garland vehemently disagrees with accusations that the Justice Department has become politicized, issuing the highest praise for all employees he says work hard every day to keep the country safe, uphold the rule of law and contribute to a healthy democracy.

News In Photos: “Nation & World”

Crime proves to be key issue as Chicago voters oust Mayor Lori Lightfoot


by SCOTT THUMAN | The National Desk

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, right, walks off the stage with her spouse Amy Eshleman after conceding the mayoral election Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Chicago mayoral candidate Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson celebrates with supporters, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Chicago. Johnson and Paul Vallas will meet in a runoff to be the next mayor of Chicago after voters denied incumbent Lori Lightfoot a second term. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas, center, celebrates with supporters as his wife, Sharon Vallas, left, smiles as she looks on at his election night event in Chicago, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023. Mayor Lori Lightfoot conceded defeat Tuesday night, ending her efforts for a second term and setting the stage for Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson to run against former Chicago Public Schools CEO Vallas for Chicago mayor. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, right, walks off the stage with her spouse Amy Eshleman after conceding the mayoral election Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

WASHINGTON (TND) — Hoping to reduce the violent crime they have seen across Chicago is one of the main issues that led voters to oust their mayor Tuesday. Two other candidates are now in a runoff.

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Hoping to reduce the violent crime they have seen across Chicago is one of the main issues that led voters to oust their mayor, Lori Lightfoot, Tuesday. Two other candidates are now in a runoff. (TND)< >

The rise in crime has been a thorny subject, not just in America’s third-largest city but in cities across the country as politicians are struggling to ensure safety.

“We will have a safe Chicago, we will make Chicago the safest city in America,” mayoral candidate Paul Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, declared on election night.

His remaining opponent also ran on promises to fight crime in Chicago.

“We can build a better, stronger, safer Chicago and tonight is just the beginning,” said Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union.

The two helped oust nationally known Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the first Black woman and first openly gay person to serve in the position. She was blamed by opponents for the spike in violent crime which was a big factor in voter turnout and the most mail-in ballots ever for a municipal election there.

The number of homicides hit a 25-year high in 2021, with 797 then decreased last year to 695 but still more than when Lightfoot took office.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pauses during her concession speech as her spouse Amy Eshleman applauds during an election night party for the mayoral election Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

It’s not just Chicago where crime has doomed candidates labeled as “too lenient.” In San Francisco, District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled. Some voters want to same for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. And in their last election, frustrated New Yorkers chose a former police captain, Eric Adams, to run the city.

In Washington D.C., Capitol Hill lawmakers are getting involved too with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., joining Republican senators as Congress looks poised to vote and possibly override the D.C. city council’s new criminal code, which critics say is soft on violent crime.

“I don’t support it. I mean, I want to put people away, I don’t want to let them out,” Manchin told CNN.

Although President Joe Biden could use his veto pen to side with the D.C. city council, long-time lawmakers also know that safety can’t be ignored.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia said he’s still evaluating the bill but did add that “job number one in public office is to keep people safe. When I was mayor, that’s what I did. When I was a governor, that’s what I did.”

“Making sure that our communities are safe and law enforcement and the broader community has the resources they need to prevent violence and respond to it when there is violence, it’s a very important goal,” he added.

Republicans especially are banking on the issue, hoping it will help them elected. Former President Donald Trump is promising voters record-level investments in policing and his potential challenger, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., just finished a speaking tour on crime across three major cities, including Chicago.

News In Photos: “Nation & World”

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