President Joe Biden’s nominee for the role of Attorney General, federal circuit court judge Merrick Garland, will tell the Senate Judiciary Council Monday that he will make it a priority to investigate and prosecute the January 6th Capitol rioters.
He is also expected to pledge to right disparities in the American justice system, according to Fox News.
Garland’s confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee are slated to begin on Monday. He released his opening statement to media on Sunday.
”If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government,” Garland pledges as part of his opening statement. “That critical work is but a part of the broad scope of the Department’s responsibilities.”
Garland’s statement also addresses “disparities” in the American justice system, and in it, he will pledge to pursue a more equitable system in light of George Floyd’s death and the ensuing national, anti-racism protests.
“That mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice,” Garland is expected to say.
“Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system; and bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change,” Garland notes, though he does not specify how the Attorney General will address environmental issues or how the office fits into the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Garland was one of President Joe Biden’s first nominees, recalling the Obama administration’s effort to place Garland on the Supreme Court.
Garland’s statement does not address a number of potential pitfalls Garland might face as soon as he is in office, if he is confirmed. He will likely be asked whether he will allow a federal investigation into the president’s son, Hunter Biden, to continue and whether his Department of Justice could spearhead a probe into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Hunter Biden admitted, in November, that he is facing an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation into his finances and supposed earnings from business dealings abroad, including with a Ukrainian oil and gas company called Burisma.
Although they are not the focus of the investigation, Hunter Biden is alleged to have used his father’s position as vice president to get a position on Burisma’s board.
Cuomo is, likewise, reportedly the subject of a federal investigation, but into his administration’s decision to mandate nursing and other adult care facilities in New York accept patients recovering from COVID-19, even though those patients could still spread the virus.
The order, which was rescinded two months after it was issued, may have been responsible for thousands of coronavirus deaths, particularly within the vulnerable elderly and black communities.
A senior aide to Cuomo allegedly admitted, last week, that the administration hid the true extent of the damage that order caused.
Garland is expected to be confirmed.