- - Tuesday, January 4, 2022

A depiction of Lady Justice stands guard outside the front entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington. Fair, impartial and final — the characteristics of justice symbolized by the blindfold she wears and by the scales and sword she holds.

Inscribed on the U.S. Department of Justice seal is a Latin motto that evokes this same ideal, “Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur.” Translation: “Who for Lady Justice prosecutes.”

In adopting this motto back in the 1800s, DOJ made clear for posterity that its purpose is not to prosecute on behalf of those in power or whatever political party they happen to hail from, but rather, on behalf of justice.

Sadly, under the leadership of President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland, the DOJ has undergone a restaffing that has politicized much of the department. The result has been several frivolous lawsuits targeting the president’s political enemies across the country, including attacks on commonsense election integrity reforms and a flurry of new, “official” guidance redefining laws that have been on the books for decades. This politicization severely erodes the DOJ’s reputation as an impartial arbiter of justice.

This is bad for the DOJ and even worse for the country.

Last year, Georgia launched an effort to address the root of the problem, filing a Freedom of Information Act request seeking records of any contact the DOJ may have had with prominent liberal groups regarding the Biden administration’s effort to overturn Georgia’s election integrity law through a baseless lawsuit.

Serious concerns exist as to whether liberal groups funded by left-wing billionaires exert improper influence over newly appointed bureaucrats who recently left these same groups to join the Biden administration. Georgia’s FOIA request offers the best chance, short of a congressional subpoena, to obtain information that could get to the bottom of this and put a stop to that influence.

Yet, more than three months have passed since the request was filed, and the DOJ has still not provided the records the law requires. The Biden administration is stonewalling Georgia’s FOIA request and violating the law in the process.

In response, Georgia has now filed a lawsuit asking the federal District Court in Washington to command the DOJ to merely do what it is required to do under the law. Nothing more.

This is a worthwhile effort by the state of Georgia, an effort other states should emulate and applaud.

But more is needed to lawfully rid DOJ of the political appointees who, in coordination with left-wing outside groups, are slowly destroying it from within.

Shedding light on improper relationships and dealings between these newly appointed DOJ officials and their former organizations and benefactors would likely reveal ethics violations, offering the best chance for garnering the support and justification needed to have these poisonous leaders removed from their posts. Congress must actively assist the states in doing this, especially after the midterms when the legislative branch may be in a stronger position to do so. In the meantime, it will be primarily up to the states to fight back where they can, and Georgia’s latest lawsuit provides a solid example of how.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “the most sacred of the duties of government is to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.”

With the current administration’s politicization efforts underway, that sacred duty is in danger of being forgotten. It is now up to the states and Congress to stop this politicization and remind DOJ what it stands for.

• Stewart Whitson is senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability and a former FBI Agent.

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