WASHINGTON - Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Tuesday that he has "a lot of questions" about the way that the Department of Justice has allocated its scarce resources in the wake of the bombings in Boston. Cornyn, the second highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, also said that the Department of Homeland Security "doesn't inspire confidence" as a result of its decision to release immigrant detainees in connection with sequestration.
The Huffington Post asked Cornyn if Monday's bombing raised questions about the Justice Department's use of resources, given its focus on medical marijuana and other issues the public sees as low priorities. "Sure," he said. "I mean, it doesn't inspire confidence when the Department of Homeland Security releases detainees from detention in advance of the sequester and then blames the sequester. And there's a lot of questions I have about the way DOJ prioritizes its resources."
Asked by Politico if the bombing represented an intelligence failure, Cornyn said he was unsure at the moment. "I don't think anyone knows yet," he said.
Cornyn has recently criticized the Justice Department for its handling of the case of Aaron Swartz, an Internet and social justice activist who committed suicide after he was accused of downloading thousands of scholarly journal articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The owner of the articles, JSTOR, was not interested in pressing charges, but the DOJ and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz used considerable resources to pursue the case nonetheless.
Ortiz, who works out of Boston, will now turn her attention to the bombing, and finds herself at the center of the unfolding investigation.
The Justice Department has also made pursuit of medical marijuana dispensaries a priority. Kevin Sabet, a former top White House drug policy adviser, said that such investigations are much more resource-intensive than one might think, often taking six months to a year each. "It's definitely a long process. You have to make sure with juries and everything you have airtight and sealed investigations on these establishments," he said in an interview on HuffPost Live. "Whether you put resources into that is another question. But it takes a long time."
Neither DHS nor DOJ responded to requests for comment on this article.