Garland to push back against Trump's claim of FBI 'locked and loaded' and deny DOJ control over New York case

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Attorney General Merrick Garland will appear before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning to address former President Donald Trump's claims that FBI agents were “lock and loaded, ready to take me out and put my family in danger ” during a search at Mar-a-Lago. .

Garland will deny suggestions that the Justice Department controlled the New York hush money case against the former president, according to excerpts of his prepared testimony shared with Fox News, and will also push back on committee efforts to hold him for contempt, a measure that passed out of committee but has not yet moved to the House floor.

“Some members of this committee and the Oversight Committee seek contempt as a means to obtain – without a legitimate purpose – sensitive information from law enforcement that could undermine the integrity of future investigations,” Garland plans to say in his testimony.

A Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement that the attorney general “will lead the important work the department has accomplished during his tenure, including decreasing homicide rates, prosecuting hate crimes and the fight against international terrorism, but he will also forcefully push back against false accusations.” stories about Ministry employees and their work.

Trump outlines 'revenge' strategy after conviction made him a criminal

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland will rebuff efforts to hold him in contempt. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Last month, Trump claimed in a fundraising email that Biden's DOJ authorized the FBI to kill him during the 2022 search for classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, in reference to an unsealed FBI document regarding the search. Trump was not home when the FBI carried out the search.

“WOW! I just came out of the Biden witch hunt trial in Manhattan, the 'Icebox,' and was shown reports that Joe Biden's DOJ, in its illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-raid Lago, AUTHORIZE THE FBI TO USE LETHAL FORCE,” Trump also wrote on Truth Social.

Trump's legal team also filed a complaint with the court citing the DOJ's authorization of use of force.

But the use of force cited by Trump's team in the court filing is standard language used by the DOJ for years, and the same language was used when FBI agents searched President Biden's home at the search of classified documents.

Garland will say in his testimony that efforts to smear him “come at a time when baseless and extremely dangerous lies are being spread about the FBI's law enforcement operations.”

Special counsel Jack Smith said Trump's team left out the key word “only” in the filing in late May that led to Trump's accusations that the FBI was out to kill him.

“Although Trump included the warrant and the operations form as exhibits in his motion, the motion misquoted the operations form by omitting the crucial word 'only' before 'if necessary,' without any question of suspension reflecting the omission,” Smith wrote. The motion also omitted language explaining that deadly force is only necessary “when the officer has a reasonable belief that the person subject to such force presents imminent danger of death or serious physical injury.” for the agent or for another person”.


Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after being found guilty

Former President Trump arrives at Trump Tower, Thursday, May 30, 2024, after being found guilty of 34 counts of first-degree falsification of business records. (Felipe Ramales for Fox News Digital)

Last week, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon denied Smith's request to restrict Trump's speech about law enforcement involved in the case, after defense attorneys called it ” unconstitutional censorship. Cannon found that Smith's attorneys failed to properly confer with Trump's lawyers before filing the motion, in violation of court rules.

Smith and Garland said Trump's statements put law enforcement in danger.

Garland will also testify against Republican claims that the DOJ was involved in the hush money case against Trump in New York, where the former president was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records .

The case in New York was brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, not the DOJ. This is a state matter, meaning Trump would not be able to pardon himself if he won the presidential election.

The measure to convict Garland of contempt “is accompanied by false allegations that a jury verdict in a state trial, delivered by a local district attorney, was somehow controlled by the Department of Justice” , Garland will say in his testimony. “This conspiracy theory is an attack on the legal process itself.”

Garland will say the move “is just the latest in a long line of attacks on the work of the Justice Department.”

“This comes with threats to defund particular department investigations, most recently the special prosecutor's prosecution of the former president,” Garland said.


Federal Bureau of Investigation agents walking around the crime scene

Trump made false claims that the Justice Department authorized the FBI to kill him during a 2022 search for classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort. (Getty Images)

He added that it also comes as career officers and prosecutors “have been singled out simply for doing their jobs” and at a time “when we are seeing heinous threats of violence directed at career civil servants in the Ministry of Justice “.

Garland says these “repeated attacks” on the DOJ are “unprecedented and baseless” and will not influence the department's decision-making.


“I take contempt to be a serious matter,” Garland says. “But I will not jeopardize the ability of our prosecutors and agents to do their jobs effectively in future investigations.”

“I won’t let myself be intimidated,” he adds. “And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our work without political influence. And we will not back down in defending our democracy.”


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