Conservatives have long complained that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is politically biased, with many pointing to the disparity between how it has treated Hunter Biden and former President Donald Trump.
In an apparent attempt to counter that perception, Attorney General Merrick Garland has just announced a new ban on DOJ figures attending political events.
Garland says DOJ must “maintain public trust”
“As Department employees, we have been entrusted with the authority and responsibility to enforce the laws of the United States in a neutral and impartial manner,” the attorney general declared.
“In fulfilling this responsibility, we must do all we can to maintain public trust and ensure that politics — both in fact and appearance — does not compromise or affect the integrity of our work,” he insisted.
“Although longstanding Department policy has permitted non-career appointees to attend partisan political events, e.g., fundraisers and campaign events, in their personal capacities if they participated passively and obtained prior approval, under the new policy, non-career appointees may not participate in any partisan political event in any capacity,” Garland explained.
“In the past, when the Department has further limited attendance at partisan political events during Presidential election years, it has allowed an exception for non-career appointees who had close family members who were running for partisan offices, or similar situations,” the attorney general continued, adding, “The new policy permits no exceptions.”
FBI agent resigns following allegations of political favoritism
Garland’s new directive came just days after the FBI agent tasked with overseeing the investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop resigned.
Fox News reported that FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Thibault was escorted out of FBI headquarters after he quit last Friday.
The network noted that Thibault was identified by Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck Grassley in a letter sent last month to the attorney general and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Grassley pointed to allegations from FBI whistleblowers accusing Thibault and other senior figures of being politically biased.
“As you are aware, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Tim Thibault is not the only politically biased FBI agent at the Washington Field Office,” Grassley wrote before stressing that “the FBI answers to Congress and the American people.”