Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to receive harsh criticism for his approach to holding Trump supporters accountable for attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
On the most recent episode of the podcast Amicus, Supreme Court expert Dahlia Lithwick interviewed Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics.
"You have been incredibly critical of the slaps on the wrists that have been meted out to the lowest-level coup participants, while leadership, really from the top down, has been almost completely immune, not just from prosecution, but even from scrutiny. It seems as though the reporting last week maybe changed that," Lithwick said. "Is this different, has this changed, or are we just too far gone along the path of normalizing Jan. 6 to care?"
"What may have changed this past week was a sense on the part of the public that something’s happening, and maybe if we’re lucky, a wake-up call for the press that puts this back into perspective," Shaub replied. "In most countries, you would have expected them to open fire on the crowd, and maybe after a few dozen fell down dead, the others would run away, and I’m not urging that people be killed, but I’m just trying to put it in perspective here that that’s the magnitude of this assault."
Shaub had harsh words for Garland, who he has also criticized on Twitter.
It doesn\u2019t come as a surprise to me that @MarkMeadows is a traitor to the republic he swore to defend. What surprises me is that Garland is too timid to do anything about it.— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub) 1639400387
"We came so close to the republic ending that day, and we talk about it as a minor thing," Shaub said. "We are at an absolute crisis moment, and we’ve all been numbed by these light sentences, and this targeting of the lowest-level officials, and Merrick Garland’s timidity in pursuing any kind of higher-level actors in this conspiracy."
There was an attempt to overthrow the republic. There IS an attempt to subvert the structures of democracy. IN PLAIN SIGHT. And the longer the people in charge in government and the media pretend this is all just a normal political struggle, the more chance it\u2019ll have to succeed.— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub) 1639164151
Shaub predicted the select committee's report to be "earth-shattering," but warned of Garland's fitness for the job.
"And the one other thing I’ll say about that is Garland could have gotten a lot of this information a lot easier and a lot faster. There’s no indication that Garland is doing anything to go after the higher-level officials, and I have a very hard time believing there’s even any chance that he is. And so it’s again frustrating that this administration doesn’t seem to be up to the challenge of this very dangerous moment we’re in. Maybe that’s why this week has felt like such a gift after so much slogging through bad news to at least have some sign that somebody is taking this seriously at the higher levels," Shaub said.