U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo on May 25 extending a Department of Justice policy from 2020 that requires investigators to clear any investigations into presidential candidates or their staff with the attorney general.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow revealed the existence of the memo on her show on Monday. The memo reiterates a policy introduced by former Attorney General William Barr in 2020 during former President Donald Trump’s administration.
That policy requires investigators to obtain written approval from the attorney general before opening any investigation into declared candidates for president or vice president, a presidential campaign or a senior presidential campaign member or adviser.
The policy also applies to declared candidates for U.S. House and Senate. Maddow noted the memo was written as former President Donald Trump flirts with another run for office.
“Well, former president Donald Trump has had the delightful experience of the Jan. 6 investigation essentially rolling out a realtime, primetime criminal referral of him to the justice department,” she said.
“That’s kind of a surprise,” Maddow later said of Garland extending the policy. “That was established by Bill Barr – when he was working for Donald Trump.”