On Tuesday, MSNBC
's Rachel Maddow
urged Attorney General Merrick Garland
to "clean house
" in the Justice Department
after its "misbehavior" during the Trump administration
, or risk setting a precedent that future corrupt presidents could exploit.
According to Maddow, the hope after ex-President Donald Trump
used the department to "go after his enemies and reward his friends
" was that Garland would root out misconduct, come clean, and then move on.
However, President Joe Biden
's Justice Department has continued some Trump-era practices, according to Maddow, citing the department's surprising decision to defend Trump in a defamation
suit brought against him by columnist E. Jean Carroll
, who has accused the former president of rape
in the 1990s.
“Under Donald Trump, the United States
Justice Department was corrupted in multiple cases,” Maddow said. “That can’t stand as precedent. The United States Justice Department is too important. Its credibility is too irreplaceable. That misbehavior during the Trump era at the United States Justice Department has to be cleaned up, found out, ferreted out, punished, cleaned up, and come clean to the American people
“Or the Justice Department will be used that way again by the next corrupt president who sees what happened under Bill Barr
and the former guy as a legacy of corruption
on which to build, and trust me, it will happen,” she warned.
Maddow acknowledged that "the job of cleaning up" was "terrible and extremely difficult," but that it was "required for all the obvious reasons."
“We knew that job would be difficult regardless of who Biden chose as his attorney general, but I’m not sure we expected some of the worst stuff from the Trump era, from the Bill Barr Justice Department, to be continued under the Biden administration
,” she said. “We knew it had to be cleaned up. We hoped that it would be cleaned up. I don’t think anybody expected it to be continued.”
Here is Maddow's complete explanation: