The decade's most triggering comedy
The denial came during a House Judiciary Committee hearing amid a line of questioning by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) about what the congressman said were “false claims” made by Trump.
Schiff, who is running for a Senate seat in California, referenced a recent interview Trump did with NBC’s “Meet The Press” in which the former president bemoaned how he is facing “Biden political indictments” and claimed Biden told the attorney general to indict him.
“Mr. Attorney General, I want to give you a chance to respond. Was the president telling the truth or was he lying when he said that President Biden told you to indict him?” Schiff asked.
“No one has told me to indict and in this case the decision to indict was made by the special counsel,” Garland replied.
Upon being pressed again about whether Trump made a false statement, Garland refused to directly address the point about truthfulness and again stated that he never was told to pursue any indictments.
Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed by Garland, has secured indictments against Trump and some of his allies in two cases: one that relates to the former president’s handling of sensitive documents after leaving office and the other focused on alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Trump, who is also facing two other indictments in New York and Georgia, has denied any wrongdoing, pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces, and claims that politically motivated prosecutors are conducting a “witch hunt” against him.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Garland also faced questions about the criminal investigation into the criminal investigation of Hunter, the son of the president.
Garland insisted that he has maintained his independence and refrained from political decisions as attorney general.
“As the president himself has said — and I reaffirm today: I am not the president’s lawyer,” he said.
Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland: "I am not the president's lawyer" pic.twitter.com/0G1AyMmVOb
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 20, 2023
Biden and Trump are both running 2024 campaigns seeking a second term in the White House.
Although a great deal of resources are being spent on helping Trump combat four criminal indictments, he remains the frontrunner for the GOP nomination contest with more than 55% support among a large field of competitors and edges out Biden in a hypothetical 2020 rematch, as shown in the RealClearPolitics average of polls with a little more than 400 days left before the next presidential election.