While the case was assembled by special counsel Jack Smith, Garland, who was appointed by President Biden, retained the ultimate authority on what to do with the evidence against Trump. Trump and his allies wasted little time in accusing Garland of having “weaponized” the Justice Department against the former Republican president. Garland, 70, arrived on the job in 2021 after years of debilitating public debates on how the Justice Department investigated political cases during the Trump administration. The opening on the high court was eventually filled the following year by Trump’s choice, Neil M. Gorsuch. Given his record, even some Republicans praised Biden’s choice of Garland to lead the Justice Department.