The Biden “Justice” Department has once again proved why it deserves those quotation marks with its highly-suspicious timing. One month ago, Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that he would challenge Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin. Ten days ago, a poll showed Justice leading Manchin by 22 points. And yesterday, the Biden DOJ announced a civil lawsuit against coal businesses owned or run by Justice’s son, Jay Justice, accusing them of over 130 violations of federal environmental laws, “posing health and safety risks to the public and the environment.” They’re demanding $7.6 million in penalties and fees.
That legal action against the leading GOP candidate’s family member immediately raised protests from top Republicans that the politicized Biden DOJ was once again engaging in “lawfare,” targeting political opponents to try to influence elections. It didn’t help the optics that these alleged dangerous environmental violations supposedly happened over the past five years, but they didn’t do squat about it until right after his dad challenged a Senate Democrat.
I’m sure the other side will claim that the DOJ is “just doing its job” of enforcing the laws. But here’s the problem they’ve created for themselves: even if that’s true – even if there is nothing political whatsoever about this lawsuit, and the timing is totally coincidental – who’s going to believe that now? This DOJ has acted so reprehensibly with its glaringly different ways of dealing with, say, Trump vs. Hunter Biden or by ignoring violent Antifa protesters threatening conservative Supreme Court Justices at their homes while hounding MAGA protesters into prison just for being in DC on January 6th -- they have utterly trashed their reputation for treating all citizens equally under the law.
Nobody seriously believes that justice is blind in DC anymore, and those who claim to believe it only say that because the DOJ’s thumb is on their side of the scale. The public’s trust in our federal institutions of law enforcement to be fair and just, which is the very glue that holds our diverse society together, has been destroyed – ironically, by an Administration that loves to accuse its opponents of “shattering norms.”
Rebuilding the public’s trust will be a long and difficult job, and it can’t even begin until corrupt toadies like Merrick Garland who are currently in charge are escorted from their offices, kicked out of the building, and barred from any federal office for life.