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Garland looks like he's protecting Trump. But Biden could be the one ...

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That probe is closed, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, but it points to a "terrible abuse of power" by Trump in using the agency to go after his political adversaries in Congress."It violates, I think, the separation of powers, but it also makes the Department of Justice a fully owned subsidiary of the president's personal legal interests," said Schiff, who was targeted in the subpoena.At a Senate hearing Wednesday, Garland defended DOJ's course and sought to draw a line between issues of law and those of policy."The job of the Justice Department in making decisions in law is not to back any administration, previous or present; our job is to represent the American people," Garland said."Matters of policy of course are completely different, and that explains why we have reversed policies of the previous administration many times over the last three months and why we have initiated our own policies that are distinctly different from those of the previous administration," he said.That's the other way Garland provides cover for Biden: Because the president is taking pains to show the department is independent, he can distance himself more easily from unpopular policy positions.At the same time Garland is taking hits from the political left, he has also taken actions that should please progressives — even though they often get less attention than Trump headlines.For example, the Justice Department is now defending the Affordable Care Act, which it fought under Trump, and it reversed a Trump-era policy denying federal grant money to so-called sanctuary cities. And on Friday, Garland announced the department would double the number of staff members dedicated to protecting voting rights within the department's Civil Rights Division.Some legal experts say it's too early to pass judgment on an attorney general who has been in office for less than four months."He has a huge mess to clean up after four years of the Trump administration flouting the rule of law and norms of decency and politicizing the Justice Department," said Kim Wehle, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at the University of Baltimore."The fact that he isn’t reflexively taking stands that many would expect a Biden DOJ to do politically is a good thing for the legitimacy of the department," Wehle said.

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