Merrick Garland Subtly Rebukes Josh Hawley After Question On Supporting Police
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) Likely didn't get the answer he was looking for when he asked Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's election to head the Justice Department, about his stance on defusing the police.
The Missouri Republican, who led efforts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election in Congress and pumped his fist at a group of Trump supporters outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, described crime in cities across the country and asked Garland if he supported the defunding of Congress police.
"As you no doubt know, President Biden said he did not support the defunding of the police, and neither did I," Garland said at his Senate Judicial Committee confirmation hearing on Monday.
The US appeals court judge then cited the horror that Capitol police officers experienced during the attack as the reason he did not support the exoneration of law enforcement agencies. More than 140 police officers were injured in the January 6 attack on Congress and several died in the uprising fueled by lies about election fraud.
"We saw on the bodycam videos how difficult it was for cops to live defending the Capitol," said Garland.
Riot police are pushing back a crowd of then-President Donald Trump after storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington DC (Photo: ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP via Getty Images).
Since the uprising, Hawley and other Republicans have complained of violence against the police during last year's Black Lives Matter protests (although the vast majority of demonstrations were peaceful). In his impeachment proceedings, former President Donald Trump's defense team often mismatched the Capitol attack designed to overthrow American democracy and previous police attacks in response to the murder of unarmed civilians.
Hawley also asked if Garalnd was "attacking federal properties in locations other than Washington, D.C." consider. To be a domestic terrorism, a label it recently proposed might not be appropriate for the Capitol attack that the Democrats use to justify a takeover.
"The use of force or threat of force to disrupt democratic processes," Garland said. "An on-the-fly attack on a courthouse attempting to prevent judges from adjudicating cases is clearly domestic extremism, domestic terrorism."
The Trump supporters raiding the Capitol also tried to disrupt the democratic process of confirming Biden's 2020 election victory, which Hawley said was still riddled with irregularities.
Left: Attorney General candidate Merrick Garland speaks during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 22nd. Right: Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) Pauses as he speaks during the Garland endorsement hearing. (Photo: Al Drago / Getty Images)
Garland is expected to be confirmed as the country's next attorney general, with broad support from both parties. Even Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Praised the judge, calling him a "very good choice" for the post.
The reception Garland received on Monday couldn't have been more different than in 2016, after President Barack Obama nominated him as Supreme Court Justice. The Republicans denied him a hearing on the Senate Judiciary Committee, citing the presidential election later that year. Of course, they dropped the objection to the confirmation of the election year at the Supreme Court at the end of 2020 after the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
"It was an election year with split Congress," said Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), then chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in his opening address Monday.
"Yes, it is true that I did not give Judge Garland a hearing," he added before referring to the confirmatory hearing by Brett Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh two years later. "I also didn't misrepresent his record. I didn't attack his character. I didn't look through his school yearbook."
Garland was nominated two years before Kavanaugh, of course. He was also not charged with sexual assault.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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