Feb 22 2021

Graham Questions Merrick Garland

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today questioned attorney general nominee Merrick Garland in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On the Horowitz Report and necessary next steps:

  • GRAHAM: “Have you read the Horowitz report?”
  • GARLAND: “Senator, in our conversations you asked me to read it. It's some 400 pages long, and I asked you for permission to read only the also very long executive summary. And I have done that.”
  • GRAHAM: “So what's your general take?”
  • GARLAND: “Well my general take is that there were certainly serious problems with respect to FISA applications, particularly for Mr. Page, and in the subsequent report to the way in which FISA applications are documented the Inspector General had a substantial number of recommendations for how this could be fixed, and how it must be fixed. I understand that he submitted those to the FBI director, and I understand the FBI director agreed totally and either has made those changes or is in the course of making them. I intend, if I am confirmed, to speak more deeply and directly with Mr. Horowitz, the Inspector General, about this and with Director Wray and make sure that these and any other things that are necessary be done. I am always concerned and have always been concerned that we be very careful about FISA. It is a tool that is very useful and important for investigations.”
  • GRAHAM: “That’s good to hear.” https://youtu.be/DmXwdgZW9m8?t=74

On the condition of the U.S.-Mexico border:

  • GRAHAM: “Have you ever been to the U.S.-Mexico border?”
  • GARLAND: “No sir, I haven’t.”
  • GRAHAM: “I'd like you to go, because I just got back, because I learned that drug cartels are using our asylum laws against us. They will collect people to sort of rush the border, and once they're apprehended they'll claim asylum. Most of these claims, 90%, are rejected, and that will take resources away from securing the border and detecting drugs and protecting the nation against terrorism. This is a behavior by the cartels. Will you look into that practice of using asylum claims by drug cartels to weaken border security?”
  • GARLAND: “I had not known about this, and I will certainly look into this problem. I think the drug cartels are a major menace to our society. The poison that they put into our streets is damaging communities of every kind.”
  • GRAHAM: I would ask you to visit the border. I think you'll find patriots there, and when they make mistakes they need to be held accountable, but that's one of the toughest jobs in the country.” https://youtu.be/DmXwdgZW9m8?t=249

On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

  • GRAHAM: “This is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Are you concerned that al Qaeda and ISIS types are going to try to hit us again?”
  • GARLAND: “I'm very concerned that foreign terrorist organizations will try to hit us again, yes. I don't know enough at this point about the capabilities of those two, but it really doesn't matter which foreign terrorist, the terrible thing is the attack. And as I said in my opening statement, with all the other things that the Justice Department has to do, it must always keep its eye on the ball with respect to foreign terrorist attacks. I was sitting in my office, arriving in my office, as the first plane hit the Trade Center, and I was sitting in my office and could see smoke rising over the Pentagon. I can assure you that this is top of mind for me.”
  • GRAHAM: “One of the reasons I am very inclined to support you is I believe what you just said is true. I think you have a very deep understanding of the threats America faces, and to my colleagues on the committee: al Qaeda has been diminished, ISIS’s footprint has been greatly diminished, but they're out there and they’re trying to, they will this year sometime. I hope I'm wrong. They’ll let us know they’re still there. So it's great to hear the potential future attorney general understanding that our nation is very much still under threat.” https://youtu.be/DmXwdgZW9m8?t=344   

On Section 230 reform:

  • GRAHAM: “What's your impression of Section 230 liability protection for Big Tech, and is it time to revisit that topic?”
  • GARLAND: “Senator, I have to be the first to confess when I have relatively limited information about a subject. I have had one case on Section 230, it was a very straightforward application of the law, so of course I know what it is. I also know that many members of this committee have ideas for how it should be amended. I would have to have an opportunity, if I’m confirmed, to talk with you about that and to understand all the conflicting concerns and the complexities of how to alter it if it’s to be altered. The devil in these sort of things is always in the details, and you on the committee know more about this than I do, and I look forward, if I’m confirmed, to having the chance to talk about it with you.” https://youtu.be/DmXwdgZW9m8?t=442

Click Here to Watch Graham’s Full Questions