Earlier this week, I noted that even though it was apparent in his confirmation hearings that Attorney General Merrick Garland was going to be a partisan hack, he was confirmed 70-30 in a bipartisan vote with the support 20 Republicans. Garland didn’t need their support to be confirmed, nor did he deserve it.

Republicans didn’t just give him a vote of confirmation, they essentially gave him a vote of confidence, and now the White House is using that to fight back against the accusation of politicization of the Justice Department. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre appeared on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday and disputed Rep. Elise Stefanik’s contention that “the FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” in part by pointing out Garland was confirmed in a “bipartisan fashion.”

Related: The White House Likely Knew About the FBI Raid on Trump’s Home, Here’s Why

“This is not about politicizing anything,” Jean-Pierre claimed “I would remind our folks on the other side that the FBI director [Christopher Wray] was appointed by the president’s predecessor,” she said, ignoring the fact that Trump has been a longtime critic of Wray ever since. “I would remind the folks on the other side that when Merrick Garland was indeed confirmed, it was a bipartisan fashion.”

So, while Republicans’ votes were meaningless in terms of the outcome, they were consequential nevertheless because they gave Garland bipartisan legitimacy he didn’t deserve, bipartisan legitimacy the White House is now using to defend the Justice Department against accusations of politicization.

Congratulations, Republicans. Great job.

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