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Garland confirmation advances out of committee

March 1, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 46.8%. 2 min read.

Judge Merrick Garland testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be US Attorney General on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 22, 2021. (Photo by Demetrius Freeman / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DEMETRIUS FREEMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Monday to advance President Joe Biden's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for attorney general, setting up his confirmation before the full Senate.

(CNN)The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Monday to advance President Joe Biden's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for attorney general, setting up his confirmation before the full Senate.

He pledged in his nomination hearing last month to "fend off any effort by anyone" to politically influence the Justice Department's investigations, and that his first priority would be to fully prosecute the "heinous" crimes committed in the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.

Garland will face politically charged questions at the Justice Department, including how to handle a federal probe into Biden's son Hunter Biden and whether the DOJ should wade into former President Donald Trump's role in the riot at the Capitol.

Garland also said he had not spoken to the President about his son's case.

"The President made abundantly clear in every public statement before and after my nomination that decisions about investigations and prosecutions will be left to the Justice Department," said Garland.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, supported Garland, calling him an "honorable man" with a "big job" ahead of him to uphold the integrity of the department.

In March 2016, then-President Barack Obama nominated Garland to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court.

Yet in September 2020, then-President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and on October 26, about a week before Election Day, she was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Before becoming a judge, Garland served under President Bill Clinton's Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick and led the Justice Department investigation into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Garland fought back tears as he explained why leading the Justice Department was important to him.

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