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Senate Committee Advances Biden’s AG Nominee

Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's pick to be attorney general, answers questions from Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., as he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 22, 2021.

President Joe Biden’s choice for attorney general, Merrick Garland, moved one step closer to confirmation Monday when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance his nomination to the full Senate.

Garland received bipartisan support from the committee with a final vote of 15-7.

The vote comes one week after Garland was questioned by the committee.

During his appearance before the committee, Garland said one of his top priorities would be investigating the January 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol.

He also said enforcing civil rights would be prioritized.

In his testimony, Garland stressed the importance of preserving the independence of the attorney general, saying he will "be the lawyer not for any individual but for the people of the United States."

He also sought to assure Republican lawmakers that he has no intention of curbing investigations started by attorneys general appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Garland said he had not discussed the current federal investigation of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, with the new U.S. leader. The investigation involves the younger Biden’s overseas financial transactions and tax considerations. Both Bidens have said there was no wrongdoing.