Gaetz vs. Garland: Brutal Showdown Over Trump’s Legal Cases


Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Tuesday accused U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland of abdicating his role as an arbiter of justice, instead using his position as America’s top cop to “get” former President Donald Trump.

In a testy exchange, Garland – who appeared in front of Gaetz at a congressional hearing – batted away questions about whether he dispatched Matthew Colangelo, a former top attorney in his office, to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to assist in his prosecution of Trump. “That is false. I didn’t dispatch Matthew Colangelo. That’s false,” Garland replied flatly when challenged.

Noting Colangelo became an assistant U.S. attorney in Garland’s office “at the very beginning of the Biden administration,” Rep. Gaetz questioned his decision to make a “remarkable downstream career journey” and head to Bragg’s office. “You’re saying that was a career choice that was made and has nothing to do with the lawfare coordinated by his office,” he said to Garland.

“I’m saying it’s false. I did not dispatch Mr. Colangelo anywhere,” Garland replied. Asked how Colangelo ended up working for Bragg, he answered, “I assume he applied for a job there and got the job. I had nothing to do with it.”

Calling Garland’s bluff, Rep. Gaetz then challenged the attorney general to produce documents on all correspondence between his office, Bragg’s, and the offices of New York Attorney General Letitia James and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

“If you make a request” for documents, “we’ll refer it to our Office of Legislative Affairs and it will respond appropriately,” Garland replied.

“Here’s the thing: You come in here and you launch this attack that it’s a conspiracy theory to allege that there is coordinated lawfare against Trump, and then when we say fine, just give us the documents, give us the correspondence, and then if it’s a conspiracy theory that will be evident. But when you say ‘Well, we’ll take your request and we’ll sort of work it through the DOJ’s accommodation process,’ then you’re actually advancing the very dangerous conspiracy theory that you’re concerned about,” Gaetz shot back.

Since President Trump’s conviction in last week’s hush money case verdict, Republican lawmakers and voters have circled the wagons in a demonstration of their belief that the cases against him are politically motivated. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a fierce defender of Trump, on Tuesday asked the House Appropriations Committee chair to zero out funding for both federal cases against him.

Despite the conviction by Bragg and a civil judgment brought by James, President Trump is expected to avoid outcomes in his other cases before Election Day. Considerations on his immunity by the U.S. Supreme Court have essentially ground both federal cases against him to a halt while Willis’ Georgia case has been marred by her own political and legal missteps as well as separate investigations into her alleged abuse of federal funds.


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