LIVE: Merrick Garland, Biden’s Attorney General Pick, Testifies Before Senate Panel

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “LIVE: Merrick Garland, Biden’s Attorney General Pick, Testifies Before Senate Panel” – below is their description.

    (Feb. 22) Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, testifies at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, February 22, 2021, in Washinigton, D.C.

    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.”

    Republicans pressed Garland on whether he’d allow John Durham to continue in his role as special counsel looking into the origins of the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s dealings with Russia even though Durham is being removed as the U.S. attorney in Connecticut. “I don’t have any reason to think that he should not remain in place,” Garland said, an answer Grassley said he wished was more emphatic.

    Although the nominee said he’s committed to transparency, he didn’t explicitly promise to make Durham’s final report public.

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