Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz revisiting his angry grilling of Attorney General Merrick Garland onstage at the CPAC Conference – accusing him of arrogance and calling him ‘complicit’ with Supreme Court abortion protesters.
He said Cruz can beat conservative boogeyman Dr. Anthony Fauci when it comes to arrogance.
‘Garland looks at you like: “How dare you ask me a question.”‘
The crowd of conservative activists cheered a Cruz’s takedowns of the nation’s top law enforcement officer when the exchange was played on the big screen.
Cruz tore into Garland for the failure to arrest protesters who gathered outside the homes of Supreme Court justices after the leak of the Dobbs decision indicating the conservative court would overturn Roe v. Wade.
‘It’s clear from that hearing that Merrick Garland’s political staff had written one sentence [saying] this is your political talking point.’
Merrick Garland agrees with the protesters. He doesn’t like the dobbs decision
He’s perfectly willing to be complicit with a left wing violent mob threatning the lives and families of the justices
tore into Attorney General Merrick Garland in angry diatribe at a Senate oversight hearing for having done ‘nothing’ to arrest protesters outside Supreme Court Justices’ homes.
Cruz made the claim during a speech and questioning where he said the Justice Department had been ‘politicized to the greatest extent I’ve ever seen in this country.’
He referenced protests that were organized outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices following the extraordinary leak of the draft opinion in the Dobbs case that revealed the justices were planning to strike down Roe v. Wade.
‘You did nothing! The Department did nothing,’ he scolded Garland at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday. ‘You again sat on your hands and did nothing.’
It came in a hearing where senators pressed Garland on issues ranging from trans prisoners to fentanyl.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tore into Attorney General Merrick Garland, shouting questions during an oversight hearing where he demanded protesters outside Supreme Court Justices’ homes be charged. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO, (left), pressed him on the charging of a conservative activist and accused the Department of anti-Catholic bias
‘When rioters descended on the homes have six Supreme Court justices night after night after night. You did nothing,’ Cruz lectured Garland, a former judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals who Barack Obama nominated for the Supreme Court.
‘Your failure to act to protect the safety of the justices and their families was an obvious product of political bias,’ Cruz told him.
‘When the Dobbs draft was leaked, I did something no attorney general in the history of the Department had ever done before,’ Garland told him. ‘For the first time in history, I ordered the United States Marshals 24/7 to defend every residence of every justice,’ he said.
He said there were now 70 U.S. Marshals providing security protection. The 6-3 conservative court ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision.
‘Have you brought a single case against any of these protesters threatening the justices?’ Cruz asked him.
‘Senator, you asked me whether I sat on my hands and quite the opposite,’ Garland said, as Cruz repeatedly interrupted him. ‘The answer is no,’ Cruz interjected.
‘Why are you unwilling to say no? The answer’s no, you know it’s no. I know it’s no. Everyone in this hearing room knows it’s no. You’re not willing to answer a question. Have you brought a case under the statute, yes or no?’
Wednesday’s hearing featured tense testimony by Garland under questioning by Cruz and Hawley
Republicans pressed Garland on the arrest of Mark Houk and brought up the FBI raid during his arrest. He faced federal assault charges after an altercation with a Planned Parenthood escort outside an abortion clinic
‘As far as I know we haven’t,’ allowed Garland. ‘What we have done is defended the lives of the justices.’
‘You spent 20 years as a judge, and you’re perfectly content with justices being afraid for their children’s lives,’ Cruz told him.
‘Can I answer the question?’ Garland pleaded.
‘They do make the decision of whether to make an arrest,’ Garland said of Marshals on the scene – before Cruz promptly changed topics.
Then Cruz switched to the topic of Mark Houk, who he described as a ‘pro-life activist, a sidewalk counselor’ who ‘had an altercation with someone who allegedly interfered with his son’s personal space and threatened his son and he pushed him.’
‘If you’re a pro life activist, what can you expect? Well, in this instance, according to Mr. Houk’s wife, two dozen agents clad in body armor and ballistic helmets and shields and a battering ram showed up at his house pointing rifles at his family.’
Cruz and other senators featured an image posted by Houk’s wife during the hearing. She has described the arrest on Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson’s show. He pushed Garland on whether it was a priority to prosecute people firebombing pro-life abortion crisis centers.
He said it was a priority to ‘investigate and find the people who are doing those fireballs.’
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also brought up the Houk case.
Houk was found not guilty last month of charges of intimidation outside an abortion clinic after the altercation with a Planned Parenthood patient escort.
‘Does your Department have a problem with anti-Catholic bias?’ Hawley asked him.
‘I just suggest to you that that is a disgraceful performance by your justice department had a disgraceful use of resources,’ said Hawley.
‘The children were screaming they feared for their lives,’ he said, saying Garland was ‘happy to deploy [long guns] against Catholics and innocent children.’
Garland did not offer details, saying: ‘The FBI has said they don’t agree with your description … of how many agents, of the agents who were there and what their roles were,’ he said.
Cruz also brought up the Jan. 6 probe of former President Trump and the Hunter Biden investigation.
‘I believe you very much want to indict Donald J. Trump,’ he told Garland, despite his repeated statements of trying to stand back and avoid interference. He has appointed special counsels in both matters.
He accused DOJ of leaking information about the Hunter Biden probe as a ‘predicate’ for indicting Trump and demonstrating impartiality and prove the department is ‘even-handed.’
Then he asked that the Hunter probe not focus on the president’s son’s battles with addiction, and focus instead on ‘connections to his father and potential public corruption. That is the matter of public concern.’
He asked Garland to commit to examining the ‘public corruption aspect’ and ‘not simply scapegoat Hunter Biden as an individual.’
The repeated accusations of bias come after Democrats howled for years about the Trump Justice Department under AG Bill Barr, who issued a summary of the Mueller report that Democrats said downplayed findings of potential obstruction of justice identified in the report.
Earlier in the hearing, members of the Senate Judiciary grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland over the rise of fentanyl-related deaths and the federal prison policy for trans inmates Wednesday, and got assurances that the Hunter Biden probe won’t influenced by politics.
The appearance put Garland on the hook for a range of controversial issues that the Justice Department intersects with, from mandatory minimum sentences to the treatment of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Garland: ‘What is our policy when it comes to allowing a male prisoner to be transitioned into a female prison?’
Garland told him that all matters are handled on a ‘case-by-case’ basis and not categorically.
Graham followed up by asking, ‘Are you concerned that if a biological male is sent to a female prison, that could be a risk with female prisoners?’
Senators grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland about prison policies, crime, and the Hunter Biden probe during a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing
‘Every person in prison has to be dealt with with dignity and respect,’ he told Graham. ‘That determinations of the safety questions you’re talking about have to be made individualized basis, not categorically.’ Graham asked him to provide any Bureau of Prisons policy on the matter.
According to a Bureau of Prisons policy statement from 2022, ‘In deciding whether to assign a transgender or intersex inmate to a facility for male or female inmates…the agency shall consider on a case-by-case basis whether a placement would ensure the inmate’s health and safety, and whether the placement would present management or security problems.’
Another senior Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, asked Garland about the Hunter Biden probe. He noted at the top that he had to decided to leave the probe in the hands of the U.S. Attorney in Delaware, a Trump holdover, as a way to insulate it from the appearance of interference.
But Grassley wanted to know if the US Attorney would need sign-off from Biden-appointed officials to charge an alleged crime in another jurisdiction, such as California or Washington, D.C.
That might allow for the pursuit of corruption that Republicans have been alleging based on emails from Hunter’s infamous laptop.
‘I have pledged not to interfere with that investigation and I have carried through on my pledge,’ Garland told him.
Garland appeared for the first Senate oversight hearing by the panel in more than a year
Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (right) are preparing to press Garland
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked about prison policies for ‘allowing a male prisoner to be transitioned into a female prison?’
Garland said the Hunter Biden probe was being shielded from influence
He said of US Attorney David Weiss, ‘He has full authority to make those kinds of referrals that you’re talking about.’
Panel chair Sen. Richard Durbin raised the issue of mass shootings in his opening statement, a day after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was defeated in her primary in Chicago. ‘More than 6,800 – 6800 – Americans have died from gunfire in the first two months of this year. There have been at least 94 mass shootings more than one every single day this year in America,’ he said.
Said Graham: ‘I think there’s a feeling of this country that we’re losing control of our streets. That crime is increasing, and the world is [full of] very dangerous people and people don’t feel safe anymore.’
‘So 106,000 people died from drug overdoses, 70,000 from fentanyl last year and it’s getting worse. The leading cause of death for Americans age 18 to 40 is fentanyl poisoning. What are we doing?’ Graham asked.