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Latest Political Restrictions Set For Justice Department Appointees

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will not allow political appointees to go to fundraisers and other campaign events under restrictions handed down Tuesday which can be geared toward maintaining the department’s independence from politics.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who’s currently overseeing investigations including the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s home and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, said in a memo that the restrictions are to be certain that politics “each in reality and appearance” won’t affect the way in which the law is enforced or how inquiries are carried out.

Appointees, hired under presidential administrations relatively than making long careers on the Justice Department, have been allowed to attend political events passively on their personal time with prior approval. The brand new policy bans attendance altogether.

The Justice Department will not allow political appointees to go to fundraisers and other campaign events. The Department of Justice constructing is seen in Washington, DC.

Kent Nishimura via Getty Images

It also removes an exception that had allowed individuals with close members of the family running for office to attend political events during presidential election years, and it bars attending such events on the evening of Election Day.

“It’s critical that we hold ourselves to the very best ethical standards to avoid even the looks of political influence as we feature out the department’s mission,” Garland wrote.

On his first day in office greater than a 12 months ago, Garland vowed to prioritize the Justice Department’s political independence after the departure of Trump, who had insisted on officials’ personal loyalty.

More recently, Trump and his allies have sought to solid the Aug. 9 search at Mar-a-Lago — a part of an investigation into the removal of classified records — as a political weaponization of the Justice Department. A rash of online threats against federal agents followed.

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