June 14th, 2024

Garland slams attacks on the Justice Department, telling lawmakers: ‘I will not be intimidated’

By Alanna Durkin Richer And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press on June 4, 2024.

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, Thursday, May 23, 2024. The Justice Department has filed a sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment, accusing them of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America and driving up prices for fans. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in New York and was brought with 30 state and district attorneys general. . (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Attorney General Merrick Garland is forcefully rebuking what he described as “unprecedented” attacks on the Justice Department Tuesday, telling Republicans who have sought to hold him in contempt that he will “not be intimidated.”

During a hearing before the the House Judiciary Committee, Garland was expected to condemn “baseless and extremely dangerous falsehoods” being peddled about the FBI and criticize threats to defund the special counsel prosecutions of former President Donald Trump.

His appearance comes as Republicans have moved to hold him in contempt for the Biden administration’s refusal to hand over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur, which focused on the president’s handling of classified documents.

A transcript of Biden’s interview has been released, but the president asserted executive privilege over the audio last month to block its release. The White House has said lawmakers only want the audio so they can chop it up and use it for political purposes.

The Justice Department has argued witnesses might be less likely to cooperate if they know their interviews might become public.

Garland will tell lawmakers he would not “jeopardize the ability of our prosecutors and agents to do their jobs effectively in future investigations.”

“I will not be intimidated,” Garland will say, according to prepared remarks provided to reporters. “And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our jobs free from political influence. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”

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