‘Are You Kidding Me?’: Federal Judge Smacks Down DOJ

[DHSgov, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

A Biden-appointed federal judge tore into the Biden Department of Justice last week over the administration’s continued belief that they are above the law. Since Biden took office, Democrats have appeared to believe that there are two sets of rules: one for liberals and one for everyone else. 

During a hearing to discuss two Department of Justice officials who refused subpoenas from Congress related to Hunter Biden’s failed “sweetheart deal” over his tax charges, United States District judge slammed the Biden DOJ, saying, “the rules apply to you too.” 

Last month, the House Judiciary Committee initiated legal action against two attorneys with the aim of compelling their testimony in the panel’s investigation concerning Hunter Biden. The lawsuit claimed that Mark Daly and Jack Morgan, both affiliated with the Justice Department’s tax division, failed to adhere to subpoenas issued in the committee’s inquiry into whether the president’s son was accorded preferential treatment by the Justice Department and whether Biden misused presidential authority to hinder, obstruct, or sway investigations related to his son.

U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes, a Biden appointee on the federal District Court in Washington, spent nearly an hour accusing Justice Department attorneys of rank hypocrisy for instructing two other lawyers in the DOJ Tax Division not to comply with the House subpoenas, writes Politico.

“There’s a person in jail right now because you all brought a criminal lawsuit against him because he did not appear for a House subpoena,” Reyes said, referring to the recent imprisonment of Peter Navarro, a former Trump trade adviser, for defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee. “And now you guys are flouting those subpoenas. … And you don’t have to show up?”

“I think it’s quite rich you guys pursue criminal investigations and put people in jail for not showing up,” but then direct current executive branch employees to take the same approach, the judge added. “You all are making a bunch of arguments that you would never accept from any other litigant.”

Reyes ultimately ordered the Justice Department to send lawyers to the Capitol next week to confer with Berry and attempt to hammer out a workable agreement. And she said that if the two sides did not work out a deal, she planned to require them to estimate the total cost to the taxpayers of continuing the legal fight, which past precedent suggests could drag out for years.

“I don’t think the taxpayers want to fund a grudge match between the executive and the legislative,” she said. “Bad cases make bad law. … This is a bad, bad case for both of you.”

The DOJ’s argument epitomizes the liberal belief that there are two systems of justice. One of Trump’s closest advisors, Peter Navarro, is currently serving four months in jail for his refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena.

The New York Times reported that the Democratic-led January 6 Committee “sought to interview Mr. Navarro in part because he, along with Mr. Bannon, devised a strategy to enlist Republican allies in Congress to delay the certification of the election by repeatedly challenging electoral vote counts in battleground states. Mr. Navarro openly discussed the plan, nicknamed the Green Bay Sweep, in a memoir and in interviews.

But when the committee asked for his testimony and documents from that period, Mr. Navarro refused to engage.

During his trial, Mr. Navarro’s lawyers contended that he had operated under a belief that Mr. Trump had asserted executive privilege and expected him not to cooperate.

According to the Congressional Research Service, criminal enforcement of a congressional subpoena is exceedingly rare. And as in Mr. Navarro’s case, prosecutions still often fall short of securing Congress access to the information sought, particularly in cases involving the executive branch.”

In reaction to the former president’s adviser going to prison, Democrats celebrated but have held back on their own allies doing the exact same thing Navarro did. 

Navarro has appealed to the Supreme Court. 

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