On Wednesday, Aug. 10, Merrick Garland, the United States attorney general, confidently strutted to the national podium and asserted, “No person is above the law in this country. I can’t say it any more clearly than that.” He then went further: “There is nothing … which prevents us from investigating anyone — anyone — who’s criminally responsible …”
As principled as that all sounds, one can’t help but ask Mr. Garland why, if no one is above the law in this county, so many of the attorney general’s own political party have not been held “criminally responsible” for their past and present actions.
For example, what about Eric Holder, the AG’s own professional and political predecessor? When he refused to comply with a subpoena involving illegal arms trafficking and instead chose to go to Disney World on the same day the House of Representatives voted to hold him in contempt of Congress, was he “above the law?” Was he held “criminally responsible” for his behavior? Why was his house not raided? What prevented an FBI invasion of his privacy and a search of his wife’s closet and wardrobe? Why was his fence not breached and his door not broken?
Or what about Lois Lerner when she used the IRS to target political opponents with heightened scrutiny and harassment? Or how about her successor, John Koskinen, who proceeded to destroy evidence subject to a subpoena? Were they above the law?
And then there’s Hillary Clinton, who ignored 17 different Freedom of Information Act requests as her staff proceeded to use BleachBit and hammers to remove evidence from their server and their phones. Was her mansion in Chappaqua raided? Was her safe broken into? Was her unauthorized use of classified information prosecuted? Was she above the law?
Or what about Peter Strzok, a lead FBI investigator who literally wrote “we’ll stop” former President Donald Trump from becoming president? Was he investigated for his apparent collusion with Mrs. Clinton and her campaign to subvert America’s democratic process? Was his residence raided? Was his safe cracked? Was Mr. Strzok above the law?
And what about Hunter Biden? Pictures on his laptop show him using cocaine and engaging in prostitution, not to mention proof of money laundering with nefarious foreign powers. Is he above the law?
Then there’s “the Big Guy,” whom Hunter says aided and abetted him in all the above. Should his residence be raided? Should his files be confiscated? Is he above the law?
Oh, and what about the poster child of this conundrum, former President Bill Clinton? You know, the guy who perjured himself when he said, “I did not have sex with that woman.” Was he above the law?
And what about Gavin Newsom, who, as mayor of San Francisco, flaunted California’s Proposition 8 and personally officiated gay marriages when they were still illegal in his state and across the country? Was he above the law?
On and on it goes. The duplicity is nearly endless.
What about Planned Parenthood selling human body parts on the open market? Is it above the law?
What about sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants? Aren’t they, by definition, saying they’re above the law?
What about all the Johns in Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s black book? Why do we not know who they all are? Are they above the law?
What about teachers unions, such as the National Education Association, that ignore statutes such as the Child Protection Restoration and Penalties Act of 1991, which criminalizes the knowing possession of child pornography? Aren’t these educators saying they’re above the law as they groom your children with books like “Gender Queer” and “Flamer” that contain graphic pictures of adult men having sex with underage boys?
And then there are the thousands of cities across the country that still have penal codes against vagrancy. Are their mayors above the law as they ignore the tent cities littered with human feces in their streets and public parks?
Aristotle once wrote, “It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians and the servants of the laws.” He went further, “Passion influences those who are in power. … Law is reason without desire.” These words were the precursor to those of Lord Acton, who famously warned, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This principle is known as the rule of law. and America’s founders knew it was essential to our Constitution and freedom. John Adams phrased it, “to the end, it may be a government of laws and not of men.”
Mr. Garland would do well to remember all this the next time he takes to the national microphone to pretend he really cares about enforcing our nation’s laws.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper) is a columnist for The Washington Times, former university president and radio host.