Biden's attorney general pick plans to remove Trump's tainted hangover from department

WION Web Team
Washington, United StatesUpdated: Feb 21, 2021, 10:24 AM IST

Merrick Garland, Joe Biden, Barack Obama Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

Merrick Garland was earlier nominated by former US President Barack Obama to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, but was not selected

The US President Joe Biden's attorney general nominee has pledged to remove the impact Trump's administration has left on the department.

In a testimony prepared for his confirmation hearing, due on Monday and Tuesday, Merrick Garland assured he will be working towards depoliticising the department and aims to remove the stain of the previous administration's interference.

Upon confirmation of his post, 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 has also assured that he will draft clear guidelines for FBI investigations. This has been taken into considerations by Garland after the agency faced several allegations in the last few years accusing the organisation of diverging into politics during the investigation of the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Following the uprise of the Black Lives Matter movement, Garland is also aiming to bring racial equality and justice for people of colour and minority groups. He stressed that this issue will be dealt with as an "urgent" task as it has been pending even after 150 years of establishment of the Justice Department.

"The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the Department's Civil Rights Division, with the mission 'to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society," Garland said. "That mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice."

Talking about the recent letdown of the country in form of US Capitol riots that took place on January 06 by Trump supporters, Garland vowed to prosecute the Capitol attackers — as of now nearly 230 people have been charged for the riots.

"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," he said.

The 68-year-old leader is known for his work in the Justice Department, where he worked 24 years ago, and then started serving as a judge.

Garland was earlier nominated by former US President Barack Obama to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. However, the conservatives worked out a plan to fill the vacancy with a Trump nominee to shift the majority of the Supreme Court towards the right-wing.