Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated by President Joe Biden for the position of attorney general, believes that the DOJ must seek “fair and honest” law enforcement and the protection of the rights of all Americans. At the same time, Garland reaffirmed his commitment to defending the agency’s political independence.
Garland, who will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, intends to tell senators that the attorney general should act as the advocate of the US people, not the president. The Justice Department on Saturday night circulated a copy of Garland’s opening statement.
If approved, Garland will go to the Justice Department, which has gone through difficult times under President Donald Trump, rife with political drama and controversial decisions. The Democrats believed that the country’s main law enforcement agency was politicized.
“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 said in a prepared statement.
Former Attorney General William Barr also tried to portray himself as an independent leader who does not bow to political pressure. However, Democrats have repeatedly accused Barr of acting more like Trump’s personal lawyer than attorney general.
Barr resigned in late December, weeks after he told The Associated Press that the Justice Department found no evidence of massive fraud that would alter the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In 2016, Republicans boycotted Garland’s nomination for the position of Supreme Court Justice.
In his prepared speech, he outlined a plan for the Justice Department to prioritize the protection of civil rights following last year’s nationwide protests over the deaths of African Americans at the hands of the police. He highlighted the key mission of the relevant department of the ministry: to protect 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, ”Garland said in a statement.
Garland also addresses domestic terrorism and the growing threats of extremism, pointing to his work in the Justice Department when he oversaw the prosecution after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
As federal prosecutors continue to prosecute the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Garland calls the uprising “a nefarious attack designed to undermine distrust in the cornerstone of our democracy – the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”
The Justice Department has already charged more than 200 people with federal crimes in connection with the attack. Among them are members of extremist groups who have been accused of conspiracy and other crimes.