Some Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee indicated openness for the nomination of Merrick Garland as Attorney General in the first break of their confirmation hearing on Monday.
Sen. John Cornyn said he is “impressed” by Garland’s experience, temperament and commitment to equal justice.
The Texas Republican said, “One of the commitments I’ve asked for is no politics in the Department of Justice … and they made that commitment.”
When asked about Garland’s response to former FBI Director James Comey’s question about a news conference on Hillary Clinton, Cornyn said, the nominees “were not comfortable answering that question, but made it clear that It’s unfair to the prosecutor. ”
Cornyn said he was glad that Garland “is there to restore the reputation of the department, I think it is very important to the public’s trust and is something that I think we need sadly.”
When asked about any concerns with the nomination, Cornyn argued that Garland “has a lot to learn about what’s going on in the world,” stating that he said he was on the US-Mexico border Were not.
Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana called Garland a “very bright person” and said he had some “very straight” questions to ask the nominee.
Asked whether Garland had already met Senate Judiciary Republicans, Kennedy said that Garland “has the reputation of being a man of integrity, and I believe that until he proves otherwise,” he would say Is that he may not be a “reasonable person”. Read DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s Russia investigation or look at Comey’s “antics” around the 2016 election without worrying about politicization.
When asked about Biden nominee Neera Tandon for the Office of Management and Budget and Xavier Becerra for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kennedy responded “I don’t yet know how I’m going to vote on them . ”
Tandon’s confirmation is on the verge of breaking out after two previous Republicans, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, announced on Monday that they would vote against her nomination, following her previous social media behavior.