President Biden is facing harsh criticism from legal experts and elected officials for violating his campaign promise to keep the Department of Justice (DOJ) non-political, after he directed the department to pursue politically charged lawsuits against Republican-led states.
In recent weeks, Biden – supported by other Democrats and liberal groups – has green-lighted DOJ to file lawsuits against Georgia, over its state election statute, and Texas, over its controversial anti-abortion law. These political directives by the president come after he promised on the campaign trail that he would keep politics out of the department and it would be "totally independent" of him.
Biden said multiple times in 2020 that he would "not direct [DOJ] who to prosecute, what to prosecute, how to prosecute."
Now, legal experts are saying that although Biden campaigned as a moderate, his decision to direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to pursue multiple political lawsuits shows that he is weaponizing the department to pursue a left-wing agenda.
Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino told Fox News, "President Biden campaigned as a moderate but since taking office he and his Department of Justice have just carried water for the left-wing dark money groups who elected him – at the expense of the rule of law."
Stephen Miller, founder of America First Legal and former senior adviser to President Trump, said Biden has "horrendously and hopelessly politicized" DOJ, which is a violation of legal ethics.
"Joe Biden has horrendously and hopelessly politicized the DOJ by using them as an arm of the Democratic Party, filing frivolous litigation solely for political – not legal – reasons. This is a clear violation of legal ethics and it warrants a full investigation into who directed these deeply offensive and utterly meritless lawsuits against the states which clearly have no legal basis whatsoever," said Miller in a statement to Fox News.
Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, accused Biden of lying on the campaign trail and claimed that his DOJ is actually "the most political and weaponized DOJ," in a tweet.
Elected officials in GOP-led states are also weighing in, saying that Biden's political lawsuits, and other crises his administration is managing, are damaging to the country.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Fox News that it is "shameful" that Biden broke his campaign promise to keep DOJ non-political.
"It is shameful that Biden has broken countless campaign promises, however I’m not surprised. He is a danger to our country and is responsible for crises after crises – the border, Afghanistan, the economy and more to come. This won’t deter me from fighting for our freedoms and the law," said Paxton.
The attorney general for Montana, Austin Knudsen, said Biden's "weaponization" of federal agencies is wrong and will make Americans more skeptical of government.
"President Biden’s weaponization of federal agencies against the interests of states is wrong and will only serve to sow more skepticism of the federal government. Whether it’s trying to force masks on kids in schools or trying to overturn state laws enacted by duly elected state legislatures, it’s wrong," said Knudsen in a statement to Fox News.
"As Montanans' attorney general, I will continue to fight alongside other attorneys general to fight the Biden administration’s meddling in our states’ affairs," said Knudsen, who is leading multiple lawsuits against the president ranging from energy to immigration.
In June, Garland directed DOJ to sue Georgia, alleging Republican state lawmakers rushed through a sweeping overhaul with an intent to deny Black voters equal access to the ballot. Georgia officials, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr, fired back, saying the lawsuit is "blatantly political" and that Georgia's law actually strengthens security, expands access and improves transparency in elections.
Biden slammed the Supreme Court's ruling last week that Texas' restrictive abortion law could remain in effect in a 5-4 decision, calling it an "unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights." He also vowed that the his administration would take action through a "whole-of-government effort," and it was confirmed by Fox News Thursday that DOJ is preparing to sue imminently.
Garland officially announced the lawsuit against Texas during a press conference at DOJ headquarters on Thursday afternoon.
The White House didn't immediately return a request for comment.