US President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee pledged Saturday to depoliticize the Justice Department and to vigorously prosecute the Donald Trump supporters who attacked the US Capitol.
In testimony prepared for his confirmation hearing on Monday and Tuesday, federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland indicated he wants to remove the taint of political interference left on the department by Trump.
He said that if confirmed, he would reaffirm “policies that protect the independence of the department from partisan influence in law enforcement investigations (and) that strictly regulate communications with the White House.”
He also promised to create clear guidelines for FBI investigations, amid allegations that the agency strayed deeply into politics in investigating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 and then Trump in 2017-2018.
In an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, Garland also said that enforcing equal justice for people of color remains an incomplete and “urgent” task, 150 years after the Justice Department was founded following the Civil War.