Attorney General Merrick Garland will focus on the Capitol Riot prosecution first if confirmed
Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland plans to focus on prosecuting those involved in the deadly U.S. Capitol insurgency last month, putting the sprawling investigation ahead of a series of politically sensitive cases he will inherit if confirmed. .
“If confirmed, I will oversee the prosecution of the white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6, a heinous attack that was intended to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy,” Garland said Monday at the a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Prosecutors have filed charges against more than 200 people in connection with the crowd of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol as Congress tried to count electoral votes for President Joe Biden.
The comments came as senators pressed Garland on the independence of the Justice Department amid federal investigations into Biden’s son and the origins of the Russia probe.
“There are a lot of people who want him on a political agenda,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said during the hearing. “I think that will not be his priority. His first priority is the investigation into the invasion of this Capitol by the mob on January 6th.
Garland said it would provide prosecutors with more resources in the Capitol Riot investigation and also expand its scope to cover the origins of domestic terrorism. “I intend to make sure we look more broadly at where this is coming from, what other groups might be raising the same issues in the future,” he said.
Garland, whose Supreme Court nomination was blocked by Republicans in 2016, is widely expected to win the attorney general’s confirmation with bipartisan support. His nomination won the support of more than 150 former Justice Department officials on both sides of the aisle.
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