AG Garland Hearing On DOJ Decisions

June 5, 2024

I will not be intimidated. And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our jobs free from political influence. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, leader of the U.S. Department of Justice, in a House hearing on Tuesday. The Department of Justice is responsible for upholding the rule of law, keeping the U.S. safe, and protecting the civil rights of Americans.

The Role of Attorney General:The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters generally and gives advice and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive departments of the Government when so requested,” according to the U.S. government. The position dates back to 1789, becoming a full-time position over the newly founded Department of Justice in 1870. Attorney General Garland has held his position since 2021 when selected by President Joe Biden.

Why It Matters: Tuesday’s hearing lasted about 5 hours with the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee questioning Attorney General Garland about a wide array of topics related to partisanship within the Justice Department. Some of the topics included the DOJ’s moves to prosecute former President Donald Trump while potentially protecting President Biden. Republicans on the committee also sought to hold Attorney General Garland in contempt for not handing over audio of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur regarding the handling and storage of classified information. The committee’s top Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan (OH), criticized Attorney General Garland for politically motivated decisions by federal law enforcement, stating, “Many Americans believe there’s now a double standard in our justice system. They believe that because there is.

Bottom Line: Lawmakers did not reach any particular decision or policy change after the hearing; rather, it provided an opportunity for the Republican-led committee to discuss the state of the Justice Department with its top leader.

Read More: Garland slams attacks on the Justice Department, telling lawmakers: ‘I will not be intimidated’ (The Associated Press)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas