Attorney General Merrick Garland says he will not “hesitate to move swiftly” following reports that former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department seized records from at least two House Democrats.
“There are important questions that must be resolved in connection with an effort by the department to obtain records related to Members of Congress and Congressional staff. I have accordingly directed that the matter be referred to the Inspector General and have full confidence that he will conduct a thorough and independent investigation,” Garland said in a statement.
He continued, “If at any time as the investigation proceeds action related to the matter in question is warranted, I will not hesitate to move swiftly.”
Garland also said while the review is pending, he has advised Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to “evaluate and strengthen the department’s existing policies and procedures for obtaining records of the Legislative branch.”
He added, “Consistent with our commitment to the rule of law, we must ensure that full weight is accorded to separation-of-powers concerns moving forward.”
NEW: AG Garland on DOJ IG's probe of 2018 seizure by former Pres. Trump's Justice Department of House Democrats' data: "If at any time as the investigation proceeds action related to the matter in question is warranted, I will not hesitate to move swiftly" https://t.co/Fw693SglRQ pic.twitter.com/jcLP1ozz0u
— ABC News (@ABC) June 14, 2021
“What the administration did, the Justice Department, under the leadership of the former president goes even beyond Richard Nixon,” Pelosi said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.
She continued, “Richard Nixon had an enemies list. This is about undermining the rule of law and for this attorneys general … to say that they didn’t know anything about it is beyond belief. We will have to have them come under oath to testify about that.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) warned if they refuse to testify, “They are subject to being subpoenaed and compelled to testify under oath.”
The New York Times noted the records were seized between 2017 and 2018.
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