Wednesday, January 05, 2022
MERRITT GARLAND'S ADDRESS ON THE EVE OF THE JAN 6, 2021 ANNIVERSARY
Attorney General, Merritt Garland, in an address to the Justice Department and the country, on the day before the anniversary of the Jan 6 2021 assault on the Capitol, in a quiet, firm, yet passionate voice declared the determination of the Justice Department to pursue the facts and the law, and bring to justice all those responsible for the attack, whether by their overt actions at the Capitol, or by actions that took place remotely but caused or assisted the attack.
He declared that the Department will protect the right of every citizen to speak, whatever their political views, however extreme, but threats of violence are not privileged free speech. He said that investigation of such acts as the Oklahoma City bombing have shown that threats must be stopped before they escalate to tragic reality.
He described the Constitutional Amendments enacted after the Civil War to protect the right to vote as fundamental, and described recent decisions of the Supreme Court as eroding the ability of the Civil Rights Laws of the 1960’s to provide tools for the Justice Department to act against recent legislation in a number of states -- legislation that targets minorities and political opponents, aiming to obstruct their ability to cast votes freely and have them counted accurately. He also described the political justification that has been offered for that legislation as fraudulent, based on false claims - dismissed in every court - of irregularities in the 2020 election.
Implicitly, he suggested that ALL Senators, and Congressmen, and national, state, and local officials – as well as all other Americans – need to actively support equal justice under the law; honesty, not fraudulent, incendiary, or threatening actions; and fair, free, and open elections.
He said that if legal culpability for criminal actions related to the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which culminated in the Jan 6 attack on the Capital, is discovered by the Department of Justice criminal investigation of Jan 6 and its pre-cursors and consequences, the Department of Justice will prosecute those individuals, whoever they are. They will follow the facts and law. Implicitly, this suggests that public officials, including the Previous President, could be investigated and charged if the investigation warrants.
He implored all citizens in the United States to work together for equal justice under the law; the right to work on elections, education, legislation, journalism, and other fields without facing dangerous, debilitating harassment from threats of violence; and the right of all citizens to vote freely and have those votes counted accurately.
In my opinion, this last paragraph is essential, and is the most important for those of us not in the Department of Justice. The country needs a loud, passionate, eloquent voice to inspire the country to reassert our values of equal justice under the law; a safe living and working space; and free and fair and honest and accurate elections.
A solid basis for American democracy was created in the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution:
“We the people…” hold these TRUTHS to be self-evident, that we are created EQUAL, with a right to LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.