Garland Poised for Confirmation After Republicans Grassley Graham Voice Support

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Garland Poised for Confirmation After Republicans Grassley Graham Voice Support” – below is their description.

    Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, said domestic terrorism is a greater threat than it has been for decades after the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.

    “We are facing a more dangerous period than we faced in Oklahoma City,” said Garland, who led the prosecution of the worst domestic attack in the U.S., the truck bombing of the federal building there in 1995.

    Garland, who’s now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, appears headed for a bipartisan vote of approval in the Senate. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the committee’s top Republican, called Garland “a good pick to lead the Department of Justice,” and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he’s “very inclined” to support him.

    As the Justice Department pursues criminal cases stemming from the Capitol riot, Garland pledged to lead the effort. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government,” he said.

    Garland also signaled he’ll make decisions independently from Biden. “The president nominates the attorney general to be the lawyer — not for any individual, but for the people of the United States,” he said.

    In response to questions, Garland said he hasn’t spoken with Biden about the pending investigation into his son, Hunter Biden, and he referred to the president’s promise not to interfere in the Justice Department’s prosecutorial decisions.

    “Decisions about investigations and prosecutions will be left to the Justice Department,” Garland said. “That was the reason I was willing to take on this job.”

    Former President Donald Trump openly pressed his attorneys general, Jeff Sessions and William Barr, to protect him and his associates from prosecution and to go after his political enemies.

    Garland indicated that, if confirmed, he’ll seek to restore policies and practices the department developed before the Trump administration, including those that the nominee said protect the agency “from partisan influence in law enforcement,” those that “strictly regulate” communications with the White House and those that respect the professionalism of career employees.

    Garland made no reference in his opening testimony to calls for him to consider criminal charges against Trump for inciting the Capitol attack, a possibility that has been advanced not only by Democrats but also by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. The nominee did say he will pursue leads in the riot “wherever they take us.”

    Just getting a hearing for the cabinet post is vindication for Garland almost five years after Senate Republicans blocked consideration of his nomination to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama. Grassley said he opposed Garland then because of the timing of the nomination, not his qualifications.

    Garland made clear he would reverse Trump administration policies on issues including immigration. Condemning the separation of children from parents seized crossing the border, he said, “I think that the policies were shameful,” he said. “I can’t imagine anything worse than tearing children from their parents.”

    He also said the Justice Department’s civil rights mission is “urgent because we do not yet have equal justice.”

    “Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and in the criminal justice system; and they bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change,” said Garland, 68.

    During his previous time at the Justice Department, Garland oversaw high-profile domestic terrorism prosecutions, including the Oklahoma City bombing and another at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

    He first served in the department as a special assistant in President Jimmy Carter’s administration before going into private practice. He returned to the department for a brief stint in 1989 as an assistant U.S. attorney.

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    Barack Obama is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the first African-American president of the United States. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.

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