President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland said during his Senate confirmation hearing on Monday that he has not spoken to the president about the investigation into his son, Hunter Biden, but insisted that any The Justice Department’s investigation will be free from political interference. .
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Garland if he had spoken to the president about any Hunter Biden investigation.
« I have not, » Garland responded, adding that « the President made it very clear in every public statement before and after my nomination that decisions on investigations and prosecutions will be left to the Department of Justice. »
« That was the reason I was willing to take this job, » Garland said. « Then the answer to your question is no. »
Hunter Biden’s tax affairs are currently the subject of a federal investigation.
« I learned for the first time yesterday that the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware informed my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax matters, » Hunter Biden said in a statement in early December. « I take this matter very seriously, but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will show that I handled my affairs legally and properly, including with the benefit of professional tax advisers. »
Biden told CNN in an interview in early December that, as president, he would not interfere in any Justice Department investigation.
“I’m not going to tell you what to do and what not to do. I’m not going to say they’re going to prosecute A, B, or C; I’m not going to tell you. That’s not the role, it’s not my Justice Department, it’s the people’s Justice Department, ”Biden said at the time.
Hunter Biden (left) hugs his father, President-elect Joe Biden, in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020 (Andrew Harnik / Pool / AP Photo)
During Garland’s confirmation hearing, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) alleged that the Department of Justice had become politicized during the term of President Donald Trump.
« Under Attorney General Sessions and Bill Barr, the Justice Department became an arm of the White House, committed to the interests of President Trump, » said Durbin, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Durbin said he has « every confidence » in Garland’s ability to oversee the Justice Department, calling his nomination « one of the most critical in the Department’s history, » calling it an « existential moment after four tumultuous years of intrigue, controversy and brute political force. ‘ . «
« I would not have accepted this job if I had thought that politics would have any influence on prosecutions or investigations, » Garland told lawmakers, affirming his commitment to a Department of Justice free from political interference.
“The president has promised that those decisions will only be made by the attorney general, and that is what I plan to do. I don’t plan to be interfered with by anyone. I hope the Department of Justice makes its own decisions in this regard, ”Garland said.
Garland, a federal appeals judge and former prosecutor, is expected to get confirmation from the Senate. He has said that he plans to prioritize civil rights and combat domestic terrorism if confirmed.