A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Garland will make his debut before senators as the Justice Department emerges from a period during which it was thrust into the center of politically charged investigations involving former President Donald Trump’s allies and dogged by accusations of politicization.
How to watch Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing
- What: Judge Merrick Garland, nominee for attorney general, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee
- When: Monday, February 22
- Time: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Location: Capitol Hill
- Online stream: Live on CBSN — in the player above or on your mobile or streaming device
If confirmed by the Senate, Garland will take the helm of the Justice Department as it pursues investigations into and prosecutions of rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol in the violent insurrection January 6. The judge is expected to tell lawmakers that “battling extremist attacks on our democratic institutions” remains central to the Justice Department’s mission. He is also set to condemn the deadly assault on the Capitol, calling it a “heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”
Garland will also assume the post of attorney general as the department continues to oversee several politically sensitive probes, including one involving Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden’s son whose “tax affairs” are under scrutiny, as well as the ongoing examination from special counsel John Durham into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Garland’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee comes five years after he was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. But Republicans declined to take up Garland’s nomination and he never received a confirmation hearing before the Judiciary panel, as GOP senators argued the vacancy arose too close to the 2016 presidential election.
If the Senate approves Garland as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, it would open up a seat on the powerful D.C. Circuit for Mr. Biden to fill. Garland, appointed to the court by former President Bill Clinton in 1997, served as its chief judge until February 2020. Garland is also no stranger to the Justice Department, having served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., as well as deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division, and as principal associate deputy attorney general.
Clare Hymes and Cassidy McDonald contributed reporting.