kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

How political can a Justice Department employee get?

US Attorney General Merrick Garland following the ceremonial swearing-in of Steven Dettelbach as the Director of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
US Attorney General Merrick Garland following the ceremonial swearing-in of Steven Dettelbach as the Director of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

This story is about a memo. It’s dated May 25, 2022. And it comes fromU.S.Attorney General Merrick Garland.

And with all that’s swirling around right now about presidential searches, classified documents, and sealed affidavits – it’s worth a closer look. 

 The memo starts:

“Department of Justice employees are entrusted with the authority to enforce the laws of the United States – and with the responsibility to do so in a neutral and impartial manner. This is particularly important in an election year. Now that the 2022 election season is upon us, and as in prior election cycles, I am issuing this memorandum to remind you of the Department’s existing policies with respect to political activities.”

And it goesIt continues, “Simply put, partisan politics must play no role in the decisions of federal investigators or prosecutors regarding any investigations or criminal charges.”

Now, we know the Justice Department has wide discretion in how it pursues criminal prosecution. But former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg says the DOJ’s policy is far from clear. Andthatcouldwellfactor intowhateverthedecisionsmadeconcerningforthe former president in the weeks and months ahead.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Tags
Rupert Allman