On Friday, Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s continued targeting of political opponents. The DOJ is seeking to re-prosecute a case in which President Trump already granted clemency. In 2016, the Obama Administration’s DOJ charged Philip Esformes with healthcare fraud, money laundering, and bribery in a multi-count indictment. During the case, it was determined that DOJ prosecutors committed prosecutorial misconduct by violating attorney-client privilege while reviewing privileged documents revealing Esformes’ legal strategy. Ultimately, Esformes was convicted on multiple counts, though the jury did not return guilty verdicts for every charge. President Trump became aware of this rogue DOJ behavior and commuted Esformes’ sentence in 2020. Despite the proven misconduct and minimal damages, the Biden DOJ has now reopened the case by targeting the charges for which the jury did not return a guilty verdict, allowing the government to seize more than $44 million in assets as restitution and asset forfeiture from Esformes.
“For years, the DOJ has unjustly and unlawfully targeted its political opponents,” said Congressman Biggs. “The Philip Esformes case highlights what most Americans already know: Our nation has a two-tier justice system and it does not serve the American people fairly.
“The DOJ is using the Esformes case as a trial case to set aside all clemencies granted by President Trump. This is a reckless move that is contrary to American history and further indicates how weaponized the DOJ has become. Mr. Esformes has already served time and has been publicly humiliated. Re-prosecuting a case that has already been commuted by a former U.S. president is unprecedented and would set a dangerous path forward. In fact, a re-prosecution would permit virtually all presidential grants of clemency to be overturned—undermining this constitutional authority.
“Attorney General Garland cannot continue down this unprecedented path that turns our nation into a Banana Republic. He must provide immediate answers to the questions found in my letter.”
The letter may be read here.