Attorney general nominee Merrick Garland Senate confirmation hearing | USA TODAY

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Published on 22 Feb 2021, 19:31
President Joe Biden's nominee to head the Justice Department, former U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland, is scheduled to begin his confirmation hearings Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In his prepared opening statement, Garland vows to "protect the independence of the department from partisan influence" after four years in which critics assailed President Donald Trump for regularly venting his opinions on ongoing investigations, particularly ones involving himself and his allies.

Garland also pledges to prosecute the "white supremacists and others" who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in what he calls "a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy." And, arguing "we do not yet have equal justice," Garland promises in his statement to continue the Civil Rights Division's mission to protect the rights of the "most vulnerable members of our society."

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