10 Things in Politics: Merrick Garland vows justice after Capitol riot


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Here’s what you need to know:

The House wants to pass the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan this week.
Trump will make his first public appearance since leaving the White House.
Both a Republican and Democrat are expected to grill a Biden nominee over her past criticisms of fossil fuels.

1. WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT TODAY’S HEARING: This is not the hearing Merrick Garland was waiting for. In 2016, Senate Republicans blocked his Supreme Court nomination. Now, he faces a confirmation hearing to become the next attorney general amid an onslaught of domestic terrorism, unrest, and broader questions about the rule of law.

To get a sense of what he’ll face during his confirmation hearing, I spoke with Insider’s new federal law enforcement reporter Camila DeChalus on what she’s watching for today.

Here are the top things she’s looking for:

What happens with Trump?: “A lot of people are looking at this hearing to signal whether Garland will launch an investigation or whether he won’t,” Camila told me. Trump has legal exposure far beyond the events of Jan. 6, including at the federal level.

Domestic terrorism: Garland will make clear in his opening statement that he will pursue justice against those who participated in the insurrection. But there are thornier questions at play — like whether anyone who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 should be charged. Prosecutors are reportedly worried about potentially losing cases and overwhelming federal D.C. courts.

There’s also the longer-term question on how to combat domestic terrorism. Camila points out part of this might include “policies to weed out police officers that have ties to these extremist groups.” We already know multiple police departments throughout the country are investigating off-duty cops who may have participated in the Capitol riot.

Garland’s backstory: He personally insisted on being sent to Oklahoma City after the attack that killed 168 people in 1995, the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history.

Other key topics:

A spike in anti-Asian-American hate crimes: “A lot of advocacy groups and civil rights groups are really going to be paying attention to what Garland will propose to do on a federal level to address this issue,” Camila said, pointing out that both California Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla both sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Many of the latest attacks have occurred in the state. 

The future of the federal death penalty: Biden has said he’s committed to working with Congress to abolish the death penalty on the federal level. But given the difficulty of getting such legislation through the Senate, Camila said “a lot of people will be paying attention to what Garland’s disposition is to the death penalty and whether he will take steps to immediately suspend death sentences that …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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