Merrick Garland: Willing to step away from lifetime appointment as a federal judge because of the importance of DOJ and the rule of law.
Garland calls family separation policy "shameful" & commits to cooperating with Congressional oversight hearings on this issue as well as annual oversight hearings. "Of course" he says, "I will cooperate" after Durbin notes there was no such participation over the last 3 years.
Judge Garland says he spoke with judiciary ethics advisors ahead of hearing and that while Canon 3 bars comment on any pending cases, he is free to talk about policy.
Asked about whether he discussed Hunter Biden with POTUS, Garland says Biden's commitment that decisions about investigations & prosecutions would be up to DOJ was "the reason I was willing to take on the job."
Asked about Trump's view he could "do whatever he wanted with the Justice Dept.," Garland says the President is constrained by the Constitution — novel & reassuring after the last 3 AG's.
Lindsey Graham congratulates Judge Garland and says he thinks he's a great choice for AG
Garland agrees that covering up wrongdoing is never a reason for DOJ to avoid answering questions from Congress. This is really important, given that it's was Barr did. But it's shocking that it was a necessary question/answer for an AG confirmation when you think about it.
Sen. Cornyn asks Garland to confirm that politics won't affect his decisions about prosecutions, which Garland, of course, affirms. And all I can wonder is where Cornyn was for the last 4 years?
Garland tells Sen. Klobuchar he will reassure DOJ employees his job is to protect their work from political interference. Again, this should go without saying. Again, this is novel after watching Barr meddle in the Stone, Flynn, etc. cases.
Garland says he's very committed to requiring AG sign off before subpoenas can be issued to journalists. This begs the whole question of who a journalist is, as the internet continues to evolve ahead of the law.
On 2nd Amendment, Garland says his views are informed by precedent, including the holding in Heller about fundamental rights. He says the President can pursue his policy goals, subject to the limitations of the Constitution.
Is Cruz's time up yet?
On the day after what would have been John Lewis's 81st Birthday, Judge Garland commits that if confirmed, he will work with Congress to restore voting rights protections & believes measure that make it possible for more people to vote are good.
Garland expresses concerns about the high number of exonerations following death penalty sentences and its "racially disparate impact" (ie it's applied more to black defendants than white ones). He says he expects direction from the President on the policy issue.
Garland wells up with tears, talking about how this country took him family in as they fled the Holocaust and his desire & obligation to be the best AG possible to repay that. There is a reason the rule of law matters.
.@SenBlumenthal suggests to Judge Garland that amending 18 USC 242, the law used to prosecute police for excessive force, should be amended to require knowledge, instead of intent. Garland said he'd consult experts in the Civil Rights Division. Important to update the law here!
Ted Cruz suggests that Democrats will end cases because of pressure from donors. Garland responds that he doesn't care what donors want and he doesn't own any stock that would create conflicts for him. Cruz seems unfamiliar with this notion of respect for ethics by DOJ officials.
Who else had, will you commit to investigating Cuomo, on their bingo card?

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More from @JoyceWhiteVance

11 Feb
Mike Lee is claiming some of the evidence presented is not supported by the record and should be stricken, referencing in particular, the call to Alabama's freshman Senator Tuberville to ask him to delay confirmation of Biden's win.
Lee clarifies that statements about him are not true, says he is the only witness, and vehemently demands that they be stricken.
Lee withdraws his objection, subject to being raised again. [Lee is one of the Republicans who voted to end impeachment because Trump has already left office. In the 1st impeachment, he voted to acquit Trump, saying he wasn't guilty]
Read 5 tweets
2 Jan
If there is any line Mitch McConnell can’t permit Trumpers cross it’s this: direct incitement to violence. Sure it’s a low bar, but honestly, so are our expectations for him to protect democracy. But at some point, this draws perilously close to the legal definition of sedition.
Having spent a fair bit of my career as a prosecutor on domestic terror & white supremacist groups, I know how important it is for a society to unequivocally condemn violence & commit to justice if it occurs. No responsible leader can ignore the obligation to condemn violence.
In case you haven’t seen it already, Louie Gohmert has moved on from being smug & dumb to being a dangerous threat to the republic and to public safety. GOP leaders must speak up for a change.
Read 6 tweets
20 Oct 20
So, we decided to introduce our little chicks to the big Silkies, and so far, it’s going pretty well.
Possibly the best thing that’s happened in 2020
Also, there were dust baths
Read 4 tweets
27 Sep 20
I am just digging into this now, but “tax avoidance” is typically a federal crime. Failure to pay can be a misdemeanor but lying about your income in forms you sign is a felony. OK, BRB.…
“They report that Mr. Trump owns 100s of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia”-this seems to significantly undercut expectations. Also, no specific misrepresentations.
But there is a strong suggestion Trump has dramatically inflated his income, at least in some years: In 2018..Trump announced in his disclosure that he had made at least $434.9 million. The tax records deliver a very different portrait of his bottom line: $47.4 million in losses.
Read 12 tweets
11 Sep 20
This: the concern of Durham allies who believe he’s under pressure to produce “something” before the election “is that the Russia investigation group will be disbanded and its work lost if Trump loses” makes no sense because there are 2 more months (con’t)…
after the election to bring the case & no experienced prosecutor like Durham wants to bring a case before it’s ready, as though somehow all that matters is just getting it indicted & not the outcome at trial months down the road. Also, cases don’t disappear just because (con’t)
administrations change. The career prosecutors who work on cases see to that. One of the 1st cases tried in my office after I took over was a public corruption prosecution of Dem officials. Righteous cases don’t just disappear. There’s no legitimate reason for Durham to be rushed
Read 4 tweets
26 Aug 20
1/ Husband just now: You’ve got a problem (said in THAT tone)

Me: wonders what one of “my” children has done now

Husband: The black chick is out of the coddler.
2/ The black chick, whose name is Poe, has greeted me from this interesting perch atop his water bottle the last few mornings. (Despite the sort of freaky lip smacking, the dogs have been very good about this)
It was only a matter of time.
Read 4 tweets

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