AG Merrick Garland Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee

Headline Roundup October 21st, 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the same day that the House gets ready to vote on a criminal contempt resolution for Steve Bannon. Garland told lawmakers that the Justice Department "will apply the facts and the law and make a decision" on whether or not to prosecute the former Trump adviser for his refusal to cooperate in the House's investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Although he defended his department's handling of the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol, Garland reiterated his commitment to keeping partisanship out of the department's decisions. He kept details regarding ongoing investigations of "any US citizen" close to his chest — including Hunter Biden. The attorney general also commented on his Oct. 4 memo about the "disturbing spike" in violence that educators are facing over highly politicized issues such as mask mandates and critical race theory. Garland clarified that the Justice Department is "not investigating peaceful protest or parent involvement at school board meetings" but any "threats of violence." 

Coverage from left-rated outlets highlighted the Bannon probe referral and the Justice Department's response to the Capitol riots. Right-rated outlets were more likely to focus on how Garland "dodged" questions and has become "involved in matters that should be handled by state and local law enforcement," including the school board memo.

From the Left
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Attorney General Merrick Garland told lawmakers that the Justice Department "will apply the facts and the law and make a decision" when considering a criminal contempt referral for Steve Bannon the House is preparing to approve on Thursday.

Garland is appearing before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday as the full House prepares to vote on a criminal contempt resolution for Bannon. The move will put before the department a decision on whether to prosecute the adviser to former President Donald Trump for his refusal to cooperate in the House's January 6 insurrection investigation....

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From the Right
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Attorney General Merrick Garland faced tough questions on a wide range of subjects Thursday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing dedicated to oversight of the Justice Department at a time when the agency is in the middle of several high-profile cases and controversies.

One main issue that Republicans seized on was Garland's recent memo to Justice Department employees about intervening in incidents of violence or intimidation targeting state and local school board officials. GOP lawmakers have criticized Garland for overstepping by getting involved in matters that should be handled by state and local law...

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From the Center
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Attorney General Merrick Garland deflected questions about whether the Justice Department is investigating legal violations by former President Donald Trump and about the reach of the ongoing probe into the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6 at his first congressional oversight hearing since he arrived to run the Justice Department seven months ago.

Garland, who had been an appeals court judge for more than two decades before joining the Biden administration this year, told members of the House Judiciary Committee that he is laboring to keep the Justice Department out...

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