Merrick Garland, nominated by President Biden for the post of attorney general, is answering questions from senators on Monday during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings.
“Now is the time to reaffirm that the role of the attorney general is to serve the rule of law and ensure equal justice under the law,” Garland’s prepared statement reads.
According to him, if approved, he intends to make the protection of civil rights and the fight against internal terrorism priorities in the work of the department he heads.
Garland’s statement emphasizes that it is about protecting the rights of all Americans, especially the most vulnerable.
“This mission remains relevant, because we do not yet have equal justice. Non-White communities and other minorities continue to face discrimination in housing, education, employment, criminal justice; they bear the brunt of the damage caused by the pandemic, pollution and climate change, ”says Garland.
The statement of the candidate for the post of the head of the Ministry of Justice notes his activities in the fight against domestic terrorism: we recall that Garland once oversaw the prosecution of those responsible after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Regarding the January 6 storming of the Capitol, Garland calls it “a nefarious attack designed to undermine distrust of the cornerstone of our democracy – the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”
Let us recall that in connection with the events of January 6, the Ministry of Justice has already brought charges of federal crimes against more than 200 people. Among these individuals are members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys extremist groups who have been accused of conspiracy and other crimes.
Garland expressed concern that the attack on the Capitol might not be an isolated incident.
“We must do everything the Justice Department can do to prevent this kind of interference in the politics of American democratic institutions,” he said. – I don’t know yet what additional resources the department will need. I assure you, this will be my top priority. “
Republican lawmakers asked Garland if he had discussed with the White House an investigation into Biden’s son Hunter.
“In every public statement before and after my appointment, the president made it very clear that decisions about investigations and prosecutions would be left to the discretion of the Department of Justice,” Garland said. “So the answer to your question is no.”
Garland also gave assurances that he intends to allow Special Attorney John Durham to continue to work on clarifying the origins of the “Russian case” investigation, which was entrusted to him by former Attorney General William Barr.
Garland is expected to be confirmed by Senators.