On Wednesday, the editorial board of The Sacramento Bee tore into House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for his threat to go after Attorney General Merrick Garland if he becomes Speaker of the House next year — a threat he made in retaliation for the FBI's search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday.
In response to that search, McCarthy tweeted, "When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar." The board noted the irony of the demand to "preserve your documents" when Trump repeatedly flushed protected presidential records down the toilet.
This sort of attack on an independent investigation, warned the board, would be a "disaster."
"When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland on Twitter Monday night for deploying FBI agents to search the Florida resort of former President Donald Trump, it was a political declaration of war," wrote the board. "McCarthy once swore an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic, but that oath clearly means little to him as he unilaterally disregards the work of a sitting attorney general before Garland even has a chance to make his case against Trump."
"Whether McCarthy is serious or not, we should take him at his word: If Republicans take back the House in November, McCarthy would use his office to target Garland because the attorney general’s pursuit of facts is a threat to McCarthy’s pursuit of misinformation," wrote the board. "McCarthy’s threat to go after Garland if he gains power in November is even more disturbing because it would set up the Republican House leadership as agents of Trump with the goal of using their power to protect Trump no matter the evidence against him."
"Every House race in America this fall should be viewed in this context. A vote for GOP leadership in the House would be a vote to support McCarthy’s vow to use his power to fight the rule of law and defend his choice of party over country," concluded the board. "McCarthy told us what he would do if he comes to power, so for the good of democracy, we must prevent that from happening."
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