After four years of a dizzying array of political stunts from the Trump administration’s Justice Department, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is apparently suddenly concerned about potential politicization of the Justice Department — now that the Biden administration is in charge. On Monday, during a confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, Cruz rehashed some conservative talking points against the Obama administration — which left power over four years ago! Cruz even complained about actions by the IRS against conservative groups — although the IRS wouldn’t even be under Garland’s authority as Attorney General! It’s a part of the Treasury Department.
Merrick Garland: "I am not the president's lawyer. I am the United States's lawyer."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 22, 2021
In an amazing feat of willful ignorance, glossing right over the years of problems from the Trump era, Cruz complained as follows:
‘As I look back over the eight years of the Obama/ Biden Justice Department, in my view, the most problematic aspect of that tenure was that the Department of Justice was politicized and weaponized in a way that was directly contrary to over a century of tradition of the Department of Justice of being apolitical and not a partisan tool to target your opponents. So it very much my hope, if you’re confirmed as Attorney General, that you will bring that reputation for integrity to the Department of Justice and demonstrate a willingness to stand up for what will be inevitable political pressure to once again politicize the Department of Justice and use it as a tool to attack the political opponents of the current administration.’
Questioning AG nominee Merrick Garland, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) without irony criticizes the Obama/Biden Justice Department for being "politicized and weaponized" as a tool to attack political opponents.pic.twitter.com/4kHJgr1SZ7
— The Recount (@therecount) February 22, 2021
It’s wild how Cruz just ignores Trump era Justice Department issues like their favors for Trump allies and the task force against so-called “anti-government extremists” that Trump era Attorney General Bill Barr set up. This task force was meant, in part, to target Antifa — which is not a widely centralized organization. The fact that it’s not some kind of secret club in which members get a membership card means that, theoretically, individuals like Barr could easily apply the label to political opponents of the right and accuse them of complicity in some kind of terroristic activity.
It is stunning to listen to the confirmation hearing of Merrick Garland for AG. Republicans asking if he will keep politics out of his decision making. How does that square with their silence on AG Barr’s political antics?
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) February 22, 2021
Meanwhile, at the Monday confirmation hearing, Cruz rambled against Eric Holder, an Obama era Attorney General who left power in 2015. Cruz also complained about the Russia investigation, bringing up the “Horowitz report,” which was his description for a report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz covering the department’s surveillance of ex-Trump adviser Carter Page. This surveillance did not meaningfully muddle the Russia investigation as a whole, which was very broad, and at this point, Republican obsession with this issue seems like a red herring.
Cruz used his questioning time to concern troll about 2 law enforcement officers who died while Obama was president and to bash the Obama/Biden administration pic.twitter.com/zII81iGqfW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 22, 2021
Check out Cruz’s full comments below — he sounds weirdly pompous: