According to a report from the Daily Beast, Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) refusal to allow the now-majority Democratic Senate to schedule a hearing for President Joe Biden's choice as new attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, has slowed down investigations into the Jan. 6th Capitol riot that had lawmakers fleeing for their lives.
It was only this past week that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to a power-sharing agreement that allowed the Democrats to take over the committees – including the prestigious Senate Judiciary Committee that would hold hearings on Garland.
With Graham holding the reins of the committee as its chairman he refused to schedule a hearing at the request of Democrats and now it may be delayed for weeks due the to Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
According to the Beast's Sam Brodey, "With the impeachment trial of former President Trump slated to take up at least all of next week, and the chamber scheduled to be in recess the following week, it's possible that another month could pass before Garland takes over as attorney general, said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Judiciary panel and a close ally of Biden."
"That possibly lengthy setback in installing leadership at the department is especially troubling to Democratic lawmakers and outside advocates — not only because they're itching to get started on a new DOJ agenda, but because of the acute importance of its business at the moment. Among many other things, for example, the department is investigating and prosecuting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol," the report states before adding, ". . . when the incoming Judiciary chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), wanted to schedule a hearing for Garland, he first had to ask the permission of the outgoing chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – and Graham said no."
Addressing the needs of the DOJ to get to work on the threats to the country due to the delay, Coons stated, "They are trying to effectively investigate and respond to domestic terrorism. To have our country's chief legal officer sidelined for weeks is needlessly harmful."
The Beast's Brodey adds, "But the central frustration stems from the fact that Biden's chosen team will be iced out of Main Justice during a pivotal moment for the agency. Many believe Garland is especially well-suited to this moment. As a former DOJ official himself, Garland oversaw the federal investigation into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the prosecution of its perpetrator, Timothy McVeigh. Durbin has said 'there is no person better qualified' to lead the investigations and prosecutions stemming from Jan. 6 than Garland."
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