How 'Garland may have dug a hole for himself'
Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks during a Medal of Valor ceremony, Monday, May 16, 2022, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Merrick Garland should have indicted Donald Trump as soon as he had the chance, according to one legal expert.

The attorney general could have charged the former president for hoarding classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and refusing to hand them over to the National Archives immediately after the ultra-conservative Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 1 unanimously affirmed the Justice Department search warrant, and Washington Monthly columnist James D. Zirin argued that recent events only make that failure look worse.

"Garland also knew what we didn’t: A few weeks earlier, Joe Biden’s lawyers had uncovered a file of government documents, some of them classified, at the Washington office Biden had used for his work with the Penn Biden Center, the think tank he founded after he served as vice president," Zirin wrote. "Even if the attorney general had allowed for the possibility that Biden might have more government documents elsewhere, Garland could easily have distinguished the two cases and moved forward with a Trump prosecution."

Zirin, a former federal prosecutor, points out that Biden cooperated with investigators from the start while Trump stalled and obstructed until FBI agents executed the search warrant, and he argued that Garland knows, and has always known, more about the inner workings of both cases than has been publicly revealed.

"However the facts fall, Garland may have dug a hole for himself, courted further delay, and dealt a lethal blow to the ideal of principled non-partisan justice," Zirin wrote.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: 'Sorry, this is not a Chinese balloon'