Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday released a set of new policies to emphasize that the Justice Department operates independently of the White House, creating stricter guidelines to prevent the White House from being notified of criminal investigations or legal actions civilians of the DOJ, with only a few exceptions.
According to a memo released by the Justice Department, he will not inform the White House of such developments, “unless it is important to the performance of the president’s duties and appropriate from the point of view of enforcement. the law”. DOJ activities involving national security and foreign relations issues were cited as the type of exceptions that would be made.
The guidelines cover all communication between the White House and the Department of Justice, outlining which White House officials should contact each other for cases, including requests for formal legal opinions, Supreme Court appeals, legislation. , budgets, political appointments and pardons.
All employees who receive communications from the White House outside of Garland’s guidelines are encouraged to report them.
Garland wrote in the note that the guidelines are not intended to block “legitimate communications” with the White House, but rather to ensure that the appropriate officials are involved, “shielded from appearance or reality. inappropriate influence “.
The Attorney General made no mention of histo the office in the five-page memo.