Oct 27 2021

Graham Presses Attorney General On Crisis At Southern Border, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

  • GRAHAM: “Did [Border Patrol] tell you anything about asylum claims being made by people that are mostly economic claims, not asylum claims? Did they mention that to you?
  • GARLAND: “I think it's…I don't recall exactly…”
  • GRAHAM: “You don’t recall being told by the Border Patrol that they're overwhelmed? They can't hold the line much anymore? That we've had 1.7 million people apprehended and the big magnet, the pull factor is the way the catch and release program around asylum…that didn't stick out to you?”
  • GARLAND: “That was not a discussion that I had when I was…”
  • GRAHAM: “Who did you talk to?”
  • GARLAND: “I was at the border at Nogales, I spoke to Border Patrol agents there.”
  • GRAHAM: “They never mentioned to you the pull factors of illegal immigration?”
  • GARLAND: “This was a review of what they were doing at the border with respect to…
  • GRAHAM: “It’s a simple question: they never mentioned to you that they've got a problem with being overrun by asylum seekers?”
  • GARLAND: “I know from reading the news media that Border Patrol agents feel that way.”
  • GRAHAM: “I mean, it's not about reading the paper. You were there talking to them.”
  • GARLAND: “I don't recall that…I don't want to tell you about a conversation that I’m not sure I had.”
  • GRAHAM: “I’m just stunned that you can’t recall that.” https://youtu.be/fkqcEuTnVzc?t=86


  • GRAHAM: “Do you trust the Taliban to police al-Qaeda and ISIS on our behalf?
  • GARLAND: “I do not trust the Taliban.”
  • GRAHAM: “Matter of fact, they have openly told us they will not work with us regarding containing the al-Qaeda/ISIS threat. Are you aware that?”
  • GARLAND: “I think there has been inconsistent statements.”
  • GRAHAM: “They just literally said that.”
  • GARLAND: “I think there have been inconsistent statements, but their statements are not anything that we can rely on.”
  • GRAHAM: “Well, when they tell you to your face, ‘we're not going to help you,’ do you think they're kidding? Do you think they really will help us but they're just telling us to our face…”
  • GARLAND: “I think ISIS-K, al-Qaeda, associated forces are and continue to be a threat.”
  • GRAHAM: “We're talking about the Taliban. The Taliban has told the United States they will not work with our counterterrorism forces when it comes to al-Qaeda or ISIS. What response should we have regarding the Taliban when they say that?”
  • GARLAND: “I think we have a number of different tools available.”
  • GRAHAM: “Like what?”
  • GARLAND: “We have economic sanctions where they need money from the United States for humanitarian and other reasons.” https://youtu.be/fkqcEuTnVzc?t=253  


  • GRAHAM: “[Director] Wray has told the world that ISIS and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan present a threat to our homeland. The Taliban has told us they're not going to help us when it comes to policing these groups. The Department of Defense has said we're six months to a year away from a possible attack by ISIS and al-Qaeda. It just seems to me there's not a sense of urgency about this.”
  • GARLAND: “There is a sense of urgency…”
  • GRAHAM: “Specifically, what have you done since our withdrawal in Afghanistan to deal with this new threat?”
  • GARLAND: “We have strengthened and increased the efforts of our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, I have met with…”
  • GRAHAM: “Literally what have you done? Just put it in writing.”  https://youtu.be/fkqcEuTnVzc?t=414

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