Senators grill attorney general nominee Merrick Garland
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 2/22/21, 05:59 pm
President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Justice Department returns to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for the second day of his confirmation hearing. On Monday, Merrick Garland told members of the Judiciary Committee that if confirmed, he would first focus on prosecuting those involved in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Senators pressed him for assurances the Justice Department would remain politically independent on his watch. He said he saw no reason to stop special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe that followed Donald Trump for much of his presidency, nor had he spoken with Biden about any potential investigations involving the president’s son, Hunter.
What is Garland’s background? He served as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit until last year. President Barack Obama nominated him to fill the seat of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but Republicans scuttled his nomination for the high court. The Senate is expected to vote to confirm Garland as attorney general next week.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Emily Belz’s report on Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court and why it failed.
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