On Monday afternoon, the nominee for Attorney General, Merrick Garland was grilled by Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, especially Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“ICYMI: I pressed Merrick Garland about John Durham’s investigation.”
ICYMI: I pressed Merrick Garland about John Durham’s investigation.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 22, 2021
WATCH 👇 pic.twitter.com/bax1DhrU7B
Cruz claimed that the Justice Department has been tainted by its politicization over recent years and that Garland would politicize the department even more so. Senator Cruz, referencing AG Eric Holder’s work from 2009-2015, under President Obama, claimed that the DOJ was:
“politicized and weaponized in a way that was directly contrary to over a century of tradition of the Department of Justice of being apolitical and not a partisan tool to target your opponents. It is very much my hope if you’re confirmed as attorney general, that you will bring that reputation for integrity to the Department of Justice and demonstrate a willingness to stand up for what will be inevitable political pressure to once again politicize the Department of Justice and use it as a tool to attack the political opponents of the current administration.” Senator Cruz went as far as accusing Garland as being President Biden’s wingman saying, “Am I right in assuming you do not view your role as attorney general as being Joe Biden’s wingman?”.
Garland was quite defensive as Cruz relentlessly grilled him. “I am not the president’s lawyer. I am the United States lawyer,” Garland said. “And I will do everything in my power, which I believe is considerable, to fend off any effort by anyone to make prosecutions or investigations partisan or political in any way.”
After Cruz was done questioning Garland, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had more questions.
Graham criticized Garland for not vocally disavowing James Comey’s work as the director of the FBI. Garland consistently dodged questions requesting his comments on former officials in the justice department. As Graham started questioning Garland on his thoughts on the Russian election interference investigation, Garland responded with this: “Senator, I really don’t want to get into analyzing any of the previous directors”. Graham fired back saying, “you’ve been very political and appropriately so, at times. I just find it pretty stunning that you can’t say, in my view that [Comey] was a terrible FBI director”.
It is clear that Senate Judiciary Republicans are having their patience worn thin and will not peacefully accept AG Garland’s appointment or hold back any criticism of the DOJ being under Democratic influence.
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