– I’m not the president’s lawyer. I’m an American lawyer.
That is what Joe Biden’s appointed justice minister, Judge Merrick Garland, 68, said during a hearing in the Senate Justice Committee on Monday. The question came from Republican Senator Ted Cruz, according to CNN:
– Am I right in assuming that you do not consider your role as Minister of Justice to be Joe Biden’s “wingman” (right hand, editor’s note)
The message from Garland to the Senate – and the American people – was clear: The storming of Congress on January 6 will be a top priority if the Senate approves him for the cabinet post.
It writes, among others, NBC News.
During a hearing in which the Senate considered whether to approve Garland as Attorney General, Garland stated that he would lead a criminal trial against “white power supporters (supporters of racist ideology, editor’s note) and others who stormed the convention building on January 6. »
Led historical case
He further described the storm as “a heinous attack aimed at destroying one of the cornerstones of our democracy: a peaceful transfer of power to a popularly elected government.”
He also warned that the country was facing “a more dangerous period” in terms of domestic terrorism than it did in 1995, when terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols detonated a bomb with several tons of explosives in front of the federal Alfred P. Murrah building.
Garland played a key role in the investigation of the terrorist act – at the time the largest in the country’s history – and later also the trial against McVeigh and Nichols.
The trial ended with McVeigh, who repeatedly expressed support for right-wing extremist and racist thinking, being sentenced to death. He was executed in a prison in Indiana in 2001.
During the hearing, Garland also stated that he would value the independence of the US Department of Justice.
According to The New York Times, Garland was also pressured on a number of current topics – including the ongoing investigation into Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa asked Garland if he would complete the investigation.
– I have no reason – from what I know, which is very small – to make any decision on that point. I see no reason why he should not continue, he said of John Durham, who is leading the investigation – but emphasized that in the future he must familiarize himself more closely with the case.
Asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, whether Garland is also open to investigating “financial contributors, organizers, group leaders and other supporters and promoters” who were not physically present during the storming of Congress, Garland replied, according to CNN :
– Understandable question. We will follow investigative tracks wherever they take us.
Garland also promised to breathe new life into the Ministry of Justice’s civil rights division, and use the tools it provides to protect minorities from discrimination.
When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in 2016, Garland was nominated for the position of then-President Barack Obama.
Republican Mitch McConnell, however, postponed the process by stopping hearings and voting. The nomination process hung in the air until Trump took over the Oval Office, and the choice fell instead on Trump favorite Neil Gorsuch.
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