During Garland’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) mentioned a story Garland told him when discussing his “aspirations” and asked him to address what motivates him when “confronting hate and discrimination in American history.”
“I come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-Semitism and persecution,” Garland said, taking a moment as he choked up. “The country took us in and protected us.”
He continued, “I feel an obligation to the country to pay back and this is the highest best use of my own set of skills to pay back.”
“I want very much to be the kind of attorney general that you’re saying I could become, and I’ll do my best to try to be that kind of attorney general.”
Watch the video below:
Attorney General Nominee Merrick Garland: "I come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-Semitism & persecution. The country took us in and protected us. I feel an obligation to the country to pay back and this is the highest best use of my own set of skills to pay back." pic.twitter.com/VdTev2RiwU— CSPAN (@cspan) February 22, 2021
Garland also declared during the hearing that the riots that occurred on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol will be his “first priority.”
“We must do everything in the power of the Justice Department to prevent this kind of interference with policies of American democratic institutions,” he said.
If he becomes the next attorney general he would take over a few investigations that started during the Trump administration.
Garland said, “I would not have taken this job if I had thought politics would have any influence over prosecutions and investigations.”