AG Garland issues memo on DOJ communications with Congress after retirement, whistleblower reports
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Attorney General Merrick Garland has issued a memo to Department of Justice staff reiterating the department’s policy of prohibiting communication with members of Congress.
Garland said all communications with Congress must be handled by the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA). According to DOJ policy, “no department employee may communicate with senators, representatives, congressional committees, or congressional staff without coordination, consultation, and approval by the OLA.”
“All inquiries from Congress and correspondence from members, committees, and staff must be directed to OLA immediately upon receipt,” says Judiciary Manual 1-8.000.
Garland said those policies were designed to protect DOJ’s “criminal and civil law enforcement decisions, and its legal judgments, from partisan or other improper influences, whether real or perceived, direct or alleged.”
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They are also designed, Garland said, “to ensure that Congress can carry out its investigative and legislative oversight functions.”
Garland insisted that these policies “were not intended to conflict with or limit whistleblower protections.”
The memo comes after a tumultuous few months for the DOJ and FBI. Over the weekend, Tim Thibault, an assistant special agent in charge of the District of Columbia, retired amid allegations that he allegedly interfered in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Thibault’s attorneys have denied the allegations, saying their client welcomes any investigation regardless of his retirement.
“He strongly believes that any investigation will conclude that his supervision, leadership and decision-making were not affected by political bias or partisanship of any kind,” Thibault’s attorney said on his behalf. “He is confident that all of his decisions were consistent with the FBI’s highest standards of ethics and integrity.”
Thibault’s departure comes a day after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed on “The Joe Rogan Experience” that the FBI approached Facebook warning the platform about “Russian propaganda” before the bomb of Hunter Biden’s laptop story leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
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Prior to Thibault’s retirement, FBI whistleblowers had reported to Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, of political bias at high levels in the bureau.
In an Aug. 17 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Iowa Republican demanded an accounting for alleged political bias influencing high-level investigations, particularly from the office of ‘FBI in Washington, DC.
Grassley claimed the FBI approved Trump campaign investigative activity with questionable predictions while choosing to “shut down the investigative activity and sources, which included verified and verifiable information, related to Hunter Hunter Biden.”
Meanwhile, the DOJ has faced criticism for what many saw as its opaque reasoning in authorizing the FBI raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month.
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Weeks later, the DOJ released a heavily worded search warrant affidavit, arguing that it was necessary to protect the integrity of the case.
Fox News has reached out to the DOJ and Senator Grassley’s office for comment.