In a recent revelation that has stirred the pot in Washington, D.C., it appears that the heart of the White House is at odds with the Justice Department's top official.
President Joe Biden's administration has reportedly expressed discontent with Attorney General Merrick Garland following a special counsel's scathing commentary on Biden's mental acuity, despite the inquiry ultimately absolving him of mishandling classified documents.
According to Politico, sources close to the President disclosed that President Joe Biden is notably frustrated with Attorney General Merrick Garland. The bone of contention arises from Garland's decision not to limit the scope of Special Counsel Robert Hur's investigation on Biden's handling of classified documents, which led to unnecessary speculation about Biden’s memory faculties.
The investigation, led by Special Counsel Robert Hur, originally focused on assessing the handling of classified documents dating back to the Obama administration. However, the inquiry soon broadened when more documents were discovered in President Biden's Wilmington home. Despite the sensitive nature of the probe, it was Merrick Garland who appointed Hur over a year ago to lead the investigation, ensuring an independent and thorough examination.
Behind closed doors, tensions have reportedly been brewing for some time. President Biden and his advisors have criticized Hur's assessment as exceeding his remit and presenting a misleading depiction of the President's cognitive abilities. This sentiment was echoed in statements by those close to the president, granted anonymity to express their views openly.
Joe Biden has told aides and outside advisors that Attorney General Merrick Garland did not do enough to rein in a special counsel report stating that the president had diminished mental faculties, according to two people close to the president.
One of the pressing issues for the Biden administration is the Attorney General's perceived inaction concerning other high-profile investigations, including the pace at which investigations into former President Donald Trump and the probe into Hunter Biden’s affairs are being handled. President Biden himself has raised concerns over the potential impact of the investigation on his son Hunter's recovery process from addiction.
The report released by Robert Hur and subsequent reactions from the White House have cast a spotlight on the dynamics between the President and the Attorney General. Most of Biden's senior advisors are skeptical about Merrick Garland's future in a potential second Biden term, indicating a breach of faith that might be too wide to bridge.
Furthermore, the strain is not just limited to the dissatisfaction with the special counsel's report. The duration of the probe into Hunter Biden and the slow movement on the Trump investigations have only added to the administration's grievances. President Biden's reservations about the measures taken against Trump highlight a broader discontent with Garland's approach to high-stakes legal battles.
Despite functioning independently, the DOJ operates under certain expectations from the White House, including due diligence and discretion in matters deeply affecting the presidency. The commentary on President Biden's memory by the special counsel has undoubtedly sparked a debate on the boundaries of such investigations and the role of the Attorney General in overseeing them.
In recent weeks, President Biden has grumbled to aides and advisers that had Garland moved sooner in his investigation into former President Donald Trump’s election interference, a trial may already be underway or even have concluded.
This situation paints a picture of growing concerns within the Biden administration regarding the treatment of its figurehead and the actions of its Justice Department. The implications of this discord could have lasting effects on the administration's internal dynamics and its approach to managing legal troubles and investigations.
The disapproval expressed by the White House over the handling of Special Counsel Robert Hur's report by Attorney General Merrick Garland has unveiled not only the delicate balance of power and independence within the U.S. government but also the challenges in navigating legal and political waters. With the Biden administration grappling with the fallout from commentary on the President's mental acuity and the broader implications for the President’s and Garland's futures, Washington finds itself at a crossroads of legal scrutiny and political strategy.