Garland affirmation advances out of committee

Merrick Garland Attorney General confirmation hearing: Live updates

The vote was 15 to 7 with all Democratic senators and 4 Republicans in favor of the nominee.

Garland, the previous chief decide of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, has been praised by members of each events for his mind and integrity. He pledged in his nomination listening to final month to “fend off any effort by anyone” to politically affect the Justice Department’s investigations, and that his first precedence could be to totally prosecute the “heinous” crimes dedicated within the assault on the US Capitol on January 6.

“He’s a man of extraordinary qualifications,” stated Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, the Judiciary Committee’s chairman, on Monday. “His life has been dedicated to public service and advancing values that are vital to the Justice Department’s functioning, integrity, independence, fidelity to the rule of law, and a commitment to equal justice for all.”

Garland will face politically charged questions on the Justice Department, together with tips on how to deal with a federal probe into Biden’s son Hunter Biden and whether or not the DOJ ought to wade into former President Donald Trump’s position within the riot on the Capitol. Garland additionally stated in his listening to that he did not have “any reason to think” that particular counsel John Durham “should not remain in place” to complete his investigation of the FBI’s Russia probe.
Garland additionally stated he had not spoken to the President about his son’s case. Federal investigators in Delaware have been inspecting a number of monetary points, together with whether Hunter Biden violated tax and money laundering laws in enterprise dealings in international international locations.

“The President made abundantly clear in every public statement before and after my nomination that decisions about investigations and prosecutions will be left to the Justice Department,” stated Garland. “That was the reason that I was willing to take on this job.”

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the highest Republican on the Judiciary Committee, supported Garland, calling him an “honorable man” with a “big job” forward of him to uphold the integrity of the division.

“It’ll be up to him to keep the Justice Department from turning into the social justice department,” stated Grassley. “I take him at his word that this is not what he wants.”

In March 2016, then-President Barack Obama nominated Garland to function a justice on the Supreme Court. Senate Republicans blocked his nomination, claiming that the general public ought to vote for the following president to resolve the lifelong appointment. Yet in September 2020, then-President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and on October 26, a few week earlier than Election Day, she was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Before turning into a decide, Garland served beneath President Bill Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick and led the Justice Department investigation into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Garland stated at his listening to that the present menace from White supremacists is a “more dangerous period than we faced at that time.” He additionally gave a brief, yet emotional, anecdote in response to a query about his household historical past in confronting hate and discrimination. Garland fought again tears as he defined why main the Justice Department was necessary to him.

“I come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-Semitism and persecution,” stated Garland. “The country took us in and protected us. I feel an obligation to the country to pay back.”

This story has been up to date with further developments Monday.

Source’s Jeremy Herb, Ted Barrett and Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.

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