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Attorney General Merrick Garland during a June news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo Wednesday designed to prevent political interference from the White House on Department of Justice matters.

Why it matters: The highly anticipated directive follows allegations of political interference during the previous administration, when former President Trump broke with convention to push the DOJ to investigate those he felt had scorned him while advocating for allies during investigations.

What he's saying: "The success of the Department of Justice depends upon the trust of the American people," Garland wrote in the memo, first obtained by USA Today.

  • "That trust must be earned every day, and we can do so only through our adherence to the long-standing departmental norms of independence from inappropriate influences, the principled exercise of discretion and the treatment of like cases alike."

Of note: Garland announced new guidelines Monday limiting DOJ and FBI investigators from seizing materials from reporters and news outlets except in extreme cases.

  • This policy follows disclosures that the DOJ, under the Trump administration, secretly obtained records of journalists from CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Read the full memo, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper

Updated Jul 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DOJ sues Texas over restrictions on undocumented migrant travel

Photo: Samuel Corum-Pool via Getty Images

The Justice Department sued Texas on Friday over Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) executive order restricting transportation of undocumented migrants.

Driving the news: The DOJ is asking a federal judge to block the order immediately. It's the latest clash between Texas and President Biden's Justice Department.

Call notes show Trump urged DOJ to declare election "corrupt"

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Then-President Trump pressed top Justice Department officials in a December phone call to "just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me" and Republican congressmen, according to handwritten notes of the call released by the House Oversight Committee on Friday.

Why it matters: It’s the latest example of how aggressively Trump publicly and privately pressured the Justice Department to overturn the results of the election, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.