Republican accusations that the Justice Department has been politicized to target former President Donald Trump and others on the right are a “disservice” to the DOJ’s employees and add fuel to a toxic environment that has helped drive a recent rise in threats against public officials, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told ABC News’ “This Week” in an exclusive interview.
“Those claims bear no resemblance to the Justice Department that I know,” Monaco told ABC News’ Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. “The Justice Department that I know is filled with dedicated men and women, investigators, lawyers, prosecutors, analysts, professional staff who get up every day, Pierre, they get up every day without regard to who’s in the White House or who’s in Congress.”
Monaco, the DOJ’s second-highest ranking official, added, “It really bothers me when I hear those claims because it does a disservice to the men and women of the Justice Department.”
In the interview, Monaco addressed what she said is an “unprecedented rise” in threats against public officials around the country that the Justice Department has had to address, including federal cases just in the last week involving individuals who allegedly threatened a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, FBI agents and three U.S. presidential candidates.
While she declined to discuss comments from any specific individual, Thomas asked Monaco whether comments such as calling DOJ officials “thugs” was helpful in the current moment.
Monaco’s comments in defense of the department come at a time when it is arguably under greater scrutiny than ever before in its history — following the unprecedented two indictments against Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith for his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House and attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
A separate special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, David Weiss, recently returned two separate indictments against President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden for alleged tax and gun crimes. And another Special Counsel, Robert Hur, is investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents after leaving the vice presidency.