Democrats dragged out Timothy McVeigh’s ghost and lashed it to the backs of Donald Trump and his America First movement as Senate confirmation hearings for Joe Biden Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland commenced on Feb. 22.
“From 1995 to 1997, I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the federal government,” Garland declared right off the bat in his opening statement. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 – a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy.”
Garland promised senators that if confirmed, investigating the actions of that day would immediately become his Justice Department’s “first priority and my first briefing.”
Casting an Enormous Net
“I intend to give the career prosecutors who are working on this manner 24/7 all of the resources they could possibly require to do this,” Garland asserted. “And at the same time, I intend to make sure that we look more broadly to look at where this is coming from, what other groups there might be that could raise the same problem in the future.”
That latter sentence reflects the elastic parameters Garland is expecting to be afforded in his task. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)revealed just how wide-ranging an approach Democrats desire a Biden attorney general to take:
“With respect to Jan. 6, I would like to make sure that you are willing to look upstream from the actual occupants who assaulted the building in the same way that in a drug case, you would look upstream from the street dealers to try to find the kingpins and that you will not rule out investigation of funders, organizers, ringleaders or aiders and abetters who were not present in the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
“We begin with the people on the ground and we work our way up to those who are involved and further involved and we will pursue these leads, wherever they take us,” Garland assured him.
This could theoretically mean that anyone who attempted to encourage Trump backers to attend a rally in the nation’s capital, historic site of popular demonstrations throughout this country’s history, to protest is fair game to become the target of a federal RICO-style law enforcement investigation.
‘Following Activities Online’
But Democrats have even more in mind than that. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) asked Garland:
“Do you think the DOJ has a role to play in examining the role of misinformation and incitement online to contributing to violence? And that the DOJ has a role in working to help us develop reasonable solutions to this challenge?”
Once again, Garland was eager to let the senator know that he was happy to oblige. “I do think that an important part of the investigation of violent extremist groups is following their activities online and getting an idea of what kind of information and misinformation is putting being put out,” he replied.
And, just like that, a green light was flashed for a U.S. attorney general to aggressively monitor the Internet communications of American citizens and pass judgment on whether certain particular political beliefs they hold may be a result of “misinformation” from unacceptable news sources.
“I look forward to talking more about this with you,” Garland told Coons.
Which is all the more disturbing based on what Coons said to him next:
“Well, there’s increasing regulatory schemes both in Europe and in California and other states being considered. And I look forward to working with you on striking that appropriate balance between protecting data privacy, protecting individual liberty, but also protecting the competitiveness of the United States and globally, making sure that we’re pushing back on digital authoritarianism.”
A United States senator was citing European “regulatory schemes” as acceptable precedent for defining Americans’ legal rights. Is there a single honest civil libertarian voice on the Left willing to call out this alarming encroachment on traditional Constitutional safeguards?
Trump as Modern McVeigh
Alas, far too many “liberals” are salivating at the vision of Garland as Joe Biden’s attack dog against Trump’s “insurrectionists.” The Brennan Center For Justice is a George Soros-funded legal organization that wields significant influence in progressive establishment circles today. Andrew Cohen, a former legal analyst for CBS News for 22 years and “the first-ever legal analyst for 60 Minutes,” as his Brennan Center bio reads, was in full McVeigh fever while pondering the possibilities with Garland at DOJ in an article written last month:
First and essentially, the current movement has a leader, Trump, that McVeigh’s movement did not. There was no social media when McVeigh conspired with Nichols and “others unknown.” Nor was there during McVeigh’s era a collection of alternative-universe media organizations available to amplify the misinformation and disinformation (and white supremacy) that marks these movements. The sad realities of our time will make Garland’s work harder. So will the fact that the insurrectionists still have legislative support among congressional Republicans despite the American carnage we all witnessed [on Jan. 6].
It is a dangerous game Democrats are playing. They are declaring a governing war against their political opposition on the populist right, and attempting to use the full muscle of federal power against their ideological opponents. The rhetoric surrounding Merrick Garland signifies a terrifying prospect.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.