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Durbin: Delaying Judge Garland's Confirmation Hearing Risks Our National Security

Current Judiciary Committee Chairman Graham Has Refused To Proceed With A Confirmation Hearing For Judge Merrick Garland’s Nomination To Be The Next Attorney General

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), incoming Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor to again urge current Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to schedule Judge Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing to be considered as the next U.S. Attorney General.  Due to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s unprecedented obstruction of the Senate organizing resolution, Graham is still Judiciary Committee Chairman and controls the Committee’s agenda.  Yesterday, Durbin sent Graham aletter urging him to schedule Garland’s hearing for next Monday, February 8.  In his speech, Durbin cited the urgent need to confirm the nation’s top law enforcement officer to protect our national security, and again asked Graham to proceed with a February 8th hearing.  This timing would comport with Republican requests that the hearing not take place during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and would give Committee members ample time to review Judge Garland’s record – much of which has been available since 2016 when he was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court.

“As we faced that mob assault on the Capitol building for the first time since the War of 1812, our Capitol was breached by attackers –domestic terrorists who are part of a coordinated, comprehensive effort to stop the government of the United States. That situation needs to be carefully reviewed and examined by the Department of Justice and the Attorney General as quickly as possible. There is no person better qualified to lead this investigation to bring these perpetrators to justice and to prevent future domestic terror attacks than Merrick Garland,” Durbin said.

“Despite the unresolved nature of the Senate's organizing resolution, other Senate committees have come together on a bipartisan basis to schedule prompt hearings and votes for nominees, including the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Secretary of State. We need to do the same when it comes to the nomination of Merrick Garland to serve as Attorney General,” Durbin continued.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.