Washington

Merrick Garland decries ‘heinous’ Capitol riot, vows to oversee prosecutions if confirmed as AG


Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, will tell a Senate panel Monday that the U.S. Capitol riot was “a heinous attack” and vow to personally oversee the prosecutions of those charged in the assault.

“If confirmed, I will supervise prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government,” Judge Garland will say in an opening statement released by the Justice Department.

Judge Garland will deliver the opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senators from both sides are expected to grill him on a range of thorny issues to whether he would prosecute former President Trump for his role in inciting the Capitol insurrection to how he would maintain the independence of the investigation into President Biden’s son, Hunter.

He will also appeal to civil rights activists who criticized his thin resume on social justice issues and pressed Mr. Biden to nominate an attorney general with a stronger record on racial issues.

In his prepared remarks, Judge Garland will assure racial justice activists that his role as attorney general will be to “serve the Rule of Law and ensure equal justice under the law.” He will note that the Justice Department’s main role after its founding roughly 150 years ago was to protect civil rights guaranteed by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

“The mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice,” Judge Garland intends to say. “Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment and the criminal justice system.”

Judge Garland is expected to be confirmed next week. 

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