Garland to push back on false claims FBI tried to assassinate Trump, DOJ was involved in NY case

Attorney General Merrick Garland will appear before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning to respond to claims the FBI planned to assassinate former President Trump during a search of Mar-a-Lago, as well as suggestions that the Justice Department was involved in the New York hush money case against the former president.

Garland will also push back on the committee’s efforts to hold him in contempt, a measure that passed the committee but has not yet moved to the House Floor.

“Certain members of this Committee and the Oversight Committee are seeking contempt as a means of obtaining — for no legitimate purpose — sensitive law enforcement information that could harm the integrity of future investigations,” Garland plans to say in his testimony.

A spokesperson for the DOJ said in a statement that the attorney general “will lead with the important work the Department has done under his tenure including decreasing homicide rates, prosecuting hate crimes, and fighting international terrorism, but he will also forcefully push back on false narratives regarding the Department’s employees and their work.”


Attorney General Merrick Garland will push back on efforts to hold him in contempt. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Last month, Trump made false claims that Biden’s DOJ authorized the FBI to kill him during the 2022 search for classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, in reference to an unsealed FBI document regarding the search. Trump was not home when the FBI executed the search.

“WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Trump’s legal team also made a court filing citing the use of force authorization by the DOJ.

But the use of force that Trump’s team cited in the court filing is the standard language used by the DOJ for years, and the same language was used when FBI agents searched President Biden’s home for classified documents.

Garland will say in his testimony that the effort to hold him in contempt “comes as baseless and extremely dangerous falsehoods are being spread about the FBI’s law enforcement operations.”

Special Counsel Jack Smith said Trump’s team omitted the key word “only” in the filing in late May that led to Trump’s accusations that the FBI was prepared to kill him.

“Although Trump included the warrant and Operations Form as exhibits to his motion, the motion misquoted the Operations Form by omitting the crucial word ‘only’ before ‘when necessary,’ without any ellipsis reflecting the omission,” Smith wrote. “The motion also left out language explaining that deadly force is necessary only ‘when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.'”


Donald Trump arrives to Trump Tower after being found guilty

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower, Thursday, May 30, 2024, after he was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. (Felipe Ramales for Fox News Digital)

Trump’s team was given until June 14 to reply to a move by Smith to issue a gag order prohibiting Trump from making statements about the FBI.

Smith and Garland said Trump’s statements put law enforcement in danger.

Garland will also testify against claims coming from Republicans that the DOJ had any involvement in the hush money case against Trump in New York, where the former president was convicted on 34 counts for falsifying business records.

The New York case was brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, not the DOJ. It is a state case, which means Trump could not pardon himself if he wins the presidential election.

The measure to hold Garland in contempt “comes alongside false claims that a jury verdict in a state trial, brought by a local District Attorney, was somehow controlled by the Justice Department,” Garland will say in his testimony. “That conspiracy theory is an attack on the judicial process itself.”

Garland will say the measure “is only the most recent in a long line of attacks on the Justice Department’s work.”

“It comes alongside threats to defund particular Department investigations, most recently the Special Counsel’s prosecution of the former president,” Garland says.


Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation walking through crime scene

Trump made false claims that the Justice Department authorized the FBI to kill him during the 2022 search for classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort. (Getty Images)

He said it also comes as individual career agents and prosecutors “have been singled out just for doing their jobs” and at a time “when we are seeing heinous threats of violence being directed at the Justice Department’s career public servants.”

Garland says these “repeated attacks” on the DOJ’s are “unprecedented and unfounded” and that the attacks will not influence the department’s decision-making.

“I view contempt as a serious matter,” Garland says. “But I will not jeopardize the ability of our prosecutors and agents to do their jobs effectively in future investigations.”

“I will not be intimidated,” he adds. “And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our jobs free from political influence. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”

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