Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday he doesn’t want to conduct a broad investigation of potential politicized actions during the previous administration, instead leaving any such review to the Justice Department’s internal watchdog.
Some Democrats have called for Garland to take on a comprehensive review of the past four years to expose instances where they say fthen-President Donald Trump used the department to carry out political vendettas and to protect his interests and those of his allies.
Garland, speaking to reporters at the Justice Department, said he was mindful of protecting career department employees from the change of political administrations.
“I don’t want the department’s career people to think that a new group comes in and immediately applies a political lens,” Garland said.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced earlier this month that his office had launched an investigation into the department’s use of subpoenas to receive phone records and metadata from journalists and at least two Democratic members of Congress.
Garland said that as a leader, “we always look at what happened before. The IG has in front of him a number of” investigations, adding that he would review any recommendations from Horowitz.
“I just don’t want to prejudge anything. It’s just not fair to the current employees,” Garland said.
This headline and story have been updated with Garland’s comments on a potential investigation.