Things grew emotionally heated as Attorney General Merrick Garland sat before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, according to reports.
Facing angry Republicans, Garland said that he and the Justice Department “will not be intimidated” by outside pressure on how to do their job.
“We will do our jobs free from outside influence and we will not back down from defending our democracy,” Garland said. “Our job is not to take orders from the president, or congress.”
Later in the hearing, Garland grew emotional after Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, of New Jersey, called his integrity into question.
From Yahoo! News:
Van Drew referred to an internal memo written earlier this year by a Richmond, Va., field office of the FBI that warned against “radical traditionalist Catholic ideology.” FBI Director Wray has called that memo “appalling” and said he “ordered it removed” as soon as it came to light and said it led to no “investigative action.”
But Van Drew blamed Garland for the memo, prompting an impassioned response from the attorney general, whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Europe a century ago to escape antisemitic religious persecution. Two relatives of his were killed in the Holocaust.
Garland, who maintained his composure while many on the dais yelled and interrupted, raised his voice at this point.
“The idea that someone with my family background would discriminate against any religion is so outrageous, so absurd,” Garland said, his voice trembling.