Rep. Matt Gaetz grills Garland during hearing over ‘coordinated lawfare’ in Trump cases

by Hailey Gomez

Photo: Alamy

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., grilled U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on whether he would release any correspondence between law offices prosecuting President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice (DOJ) after alleging that the idea of “coordinated lawfare” was a conspiracy theory.

Garland appeared before lawmakers Tuesday to testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing regarding allegations of oversight from the DOJ. During the hearing, Garland claimed that the allegations of coordination between offices such as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis — both of which have brought forward cases against Trump — were merely a “conspiracy” as it was “attack on the judicial process itself.”

“You’ve told us that it’s a dangerous conspiracy to allege that the Department of Justice is communicating with these state and local prosecutions against Trump. You can clear it all up for us right now. Will the Department of Justice provide to the committee all documents, all correspondents between the department and Alvin Bragg’s office, Fani Willis’ office, and Letitia James’ office,” Gaetz stated.

“The offices you’re referring to are independent offices of state —” Garland responded. Gaetz pushed back, stating, “I get that, I get that. The question is whether or not you will provide all of your documents and correspondence. I don’t need a history lesson.”

Garland continued to repeat that the DOJ doesn’t control the offices before Gaetz pressed again to ask if the department communicates with the law offices and if he would provide the communications.

“If you make a request, we will refer it to our office of legislation affairs —” Garland began.

“But see, here’s the thing. You come in here, and you lodge this attack that it’s a conspiracy theory that there’s coordinated lawfare against Trump, and then when we say, ‘Fine, just give us the documents, give us the correspondents, and then if it’s a conspiracy theory, that will be evident,'” Gaetz jumped in.

“But when you say, ‘Well, we’ll take your request, and then we’ll sort of work it through the DOJ’s accommodation process,’ then you’re actually advancing the very dangerous conspiracy theory that you’re concerned about,” he continued.

Last week, Trump was found guilty on all 34 felony counts brought by Bragg, who claimed that Trump falsified business records through a nondisclosure payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Working as a senior counsel on Bragg’s team, Matthew Colangelo previously worked for President Joe Biden as an acting associate attorney general.

Before spending two years in the Biden administration, Colangelo received thousands of dollars from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for “political consulting” according to 2018 Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, Fox News reported.

By 2022, Colangelo joined Bragg’s team and led the probe into the Trump Foundation, which resulted in the company’s dissolution prior to moving on to Trump’s falsified business records case.

Willis’s lead prosecutor for her election case against Trump, Nathan Wade, was reported in early January to have met twice with Biden’s White House Counsel’s Office prior to bringing charges against the 45th president, according to Fox News. While it is unknown who Wade had met with, the attorney billed Willis’ office $2,000 for eight hours of work related to the meetings.

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