Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s candidate to lead the Department of Justice, said he would open an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that included supporters of former President Donald Trump, but did not comment on whether he would play the role Governor Andrew Cuomo in the government will investigate deaths in the state’s nursing home.
In his opening address to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold its confirmation hearing on Monday, Garland also said he will serve as attorney general to “serve the rule of law and ensure equal justice under the law”.
Garland, who oversaw the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, will say he plans to prosecute those who stormed the Capitol when a joint session of Congress met to confirm the election of the electoral college.
“If this is confirmed, I will oversee the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6th – a hideous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government,” will Garland say in his testimony.
However, he made no mention of Cuomo in his opening speeches released by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday.
Republicans on the panel are expected to grill Garland about investigating Cuomo for allegedly covering up nursing home deaths last spring.
The Post revealed that its top adviser Melissa DeRosa told state lawmakers that the government was hiding the number of deaths in nursing homes during a Justice Department investigation.
The FBI and the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn have opened an investigation in response to the Post’s report.
Garland was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2016 to fill the Supreme Court position that remained open following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
But then-Senate Majority Chairman Mitch McConnell refused to hold a hearing for Garland because it was an election year.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s candidate, was eventually confirmed to the court seat.
Garland, who has served on the US Court of Appeals since 1997, will explain to Senators why he would be relinquishing a lifelong appointment as Attorney General.
“I told you I love being a judge. I also told you that this is an important time for me to move forward as I have great respect for the Justice Department and play its vital role in ensuring the rule of law, ”he will say.
He noted the efforts of the Justice Department over the years to secure civil rights and comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and expressed a desire to continue in this direction.
“This mission remains urgent because we do not yet have the same justice. Color communities and other minorities continue to face discrimination in the areas of housing, education, employment and criminal justice. and bear the brunt of the damage caused by pandemic, pollution and climate change, “Garland will say.