Attorney General Merrick Garland testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, where he discussed the Justice Department’s budget and priorities.
But what Republicans really wanted to talk about was the DOJ’s handling of hate crimes, domestic terrorism, political corruption, and white-collar crime.
Republicans grilled Garland on why the DOJ doesn’t prosecute many Antifa attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers, to which Garland responded that these attacks often occur at night and in secret. “Those who are attacking the pregnancy resource centers…are doing this at night in the dark. These people who are doing it are clever and are doing it in secret,” he said.
Garland also faced criticism from Republicans over the DOJ’s investigation into political corruption and white-collar crime, with some accusing him of turning the department into an enforcement arm of the Biden administration.
Senator Josh Hawley grilled Garland on the FBI’s labeling of “traditionalist Catholics” as a terrorist risk and asked how many spies and sources the agency has in America’s churches. Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz mauls Garland for ignoring threats against Supreme Court justices, and Senator Hawley accuses Garland of targeting pro-life activists.
Despite the intense questioning from Republicans, Garland remained composed and reiterated the DOJ’s commitment to enforcing the law without bias or political interference. “We don’t take sides,” he said.