Merrick Garland 'tapped for attorney general' – Obama Supreme Court nominee blocked by GOP selected as Biden top cop
MERRICK Garland has been tapped for Joe Biden's attorney general, according to reports on Wednesday.
Biden is expected to announce Garland's appointment on Thursday, along with other senior leaders of the department.
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The people familiar with the process spoke on condition of anonymity.
Garland is an experienced judge who held senior positions at the Justice Department, including as a supervisor of the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
However, Garland was one spurned by Senate Republicans in 2016 following a Supreme Court vacancy.
Garland was put forward by former President Barack Obama for a seat on the Supreme Court in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but Republicans refused to hold hearings in the final year of Obama's term.
The vacancy was later filled by Justice Neil Gorsuch during the Trump administration.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to let the nomination move forward in the Senate in the final months of Obama's tenure.
He was criticized by Democrats this fall when he took the opposite approach toward confirming President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett.
He said the difference this time around was that the White House and Senate were controlled by the same political parties.
One year later, after the firing of FBI Director James Comey, McConnell actually floated Garland's name as a replacement for that position, though Garland was said to be not interested.
Garland has been on the federal appeals court in Washington since 1997.
Before that, he had worked in private practice, as well as a federal prosecutor, a senior official in the Justice Departments' criminal division and as the principal associate deputy attorney general.
If confirmed, Garland would confront immediate challenges, including an ongoing criminal tax investigation into Biden's son, Hunter.
He will also deal with calls from many Democrats to pursue inquiries into Trump after he leaves office.
A special counsel investigation into the origins of the Russia probe also remains open, forcing a new attorney general to decide how to handle it and what to make public.
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