Rachel Maddow shared a memo from May 25 on “election year sensitivities,” in which Attorney General Merrick Garland directed DOJ employees to abide by Bill Barr's policy requiring prosecutors to pre-clear with him any investigations into presidential candidates and their staffers.
Maddow made this sound like a much bigger deal than it is. It's the TV equivalent of clickbait.
Here's an excerpt from the memo.
Department of Justice employees are entrusted with the authority to enforce the laws of the United States and with the responsibility to do so in a neutral and impartial manner.
This is particularly important in an election year. Now that the 2022 election season is upon us, and as in prior election cycles, I am issuing this memorandum to remind you of the Department’s existing policies with respect to political activities.
[...] Department employees must also adhere to the additional requirements issued by the Attorney General on February 5, 2020, governing the opening of criminal and counter intelligence investigations by the Department, including its law enforcement agencies, related to politically sensitive individuals and entities. See Memorandum of Attorney General William Barr.
But this is not an attempt to block investigations, as Maddow's hair-on-fire segment makes it sound. The fact that DoJ just significantly expanded staffing for the Jan. 6th investigation shows their committment to going after the higher-ups: