Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin says Merrick Garland is 'wrong man' for AG after declaring him 'right pick'


Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin declared on Wednesday that Attorney General Merrick Garland is the “wrong man for the job” after previously arguing he was the “right pick” to lead the Department of Justice. 

In her latest column, Rubin slammed Garland for what she suggested was him going easy on investigating former President Trump and the previous administration amid recent reports of the Trump DOJ pursuing records and data of journalists and Democratic lawmakers. 

“Attorneys who did their jobs professionally would have nothing to worry about in a top-to-bottom review of the department’s conduct,” Rubin wrote. “Investigating wrongdoing, rooting out unethical behavior and getting to the bottom of the politicization of the department are central to restoring the Justice Department’s reputation. In allowing miscreants to escape accountability (unless Horowitz snares them in his inquiries), Garland has effectively told his department that there are no consequences for unethical or even illegal conduct.”

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Rubin accused the Biden appointee of “protecting” his predecessor William Barr and “sheltering” Trump.

“Garland does the department and the legal profession no favors by allowing former Justice Department political appointees to escape consequences for their conduct,” Rubin explained. “To the contrary, he is encouraging future political appointees to do the bidding of the White House rather than upholding the independence of the department.”

She continued, “It seems Garland is not the right person for his job, which requires determination to clean house and reestablish the highest standards for the department. That requires the ability to absorb political attacks from those who object to his mission to root out misbehavior. If he cannot explain to critics that a thorough investigation is not partisan, but an essential part of reasserting legal norms, he is not up to the challenge before him.”

However, just a few months ago, the Washington Post columnist was one of Garland’s biggest cheerleaders, writing a piece titled “Merrick Garland shows why he was the right pick to be attorney general.”

“Merrick Garland, appearing for his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department on Monday, was the model of judicial deportment, precision and character,” Rubin began her Feb. 22 column. “Two dozen years as a federal appeals court judge provided him with an aura of authority that largely silenced Republican partisans looking for a gotcha question or wedge to create controversy.”

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Rubin praised Garland’s commitment to keep the DOJ “free of political interference” and touted his “two professional experiences under his belt that make him exceptionally well-suited to assume leadership of the Justice Department at this moment” before detailing his work under Watergate-era AG Ben Civiletti and his prosecution in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. 

“Garland is proving himself to be among Biden’s best picks,” Rubin wrote. “That spells bad news for White supremacists, opponents of criminal justice reform and Republican senators who have propounded the Big Lie that the election was stolen.”

Rubin, who for much of the Trump presidency referred to herself as a “conservative blogger” despite being a vocal advocate for liberal causes, has a long history of major flip-flops. 

During the 2020 presidential election, she asked in a column: “What good are the Iowa caucuses anyway?” amid then-candidate Biden’s stunning defeat after arguing “why Iowa is so important this time” back in May 2019.

Rubin insisted that late conservative icon Rush Limbaugh was “racist” when President Trump awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the 2020 State of the Union address after she previously defended the talk radio host from racism charges back in 2011.  

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The Post columnist also knocked the Obama-era Paris Climate Accords in 2015 before denouncing Trump’s “senseless act” when he announced his withdrawal from the agreement, praised Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2010 before condemning Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as a “foreign policy move without a purpose,” called the Iran Nuclear Deal “ludicrous” before slamming Trump for scrapping it,” and previously dismissed calls for gun control before becoming a gun control advocate herself.

Earlier this year, Rubin shattered the glass ceiling as the first woman to win the second annual Liberal Hack Tournament.

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