The Joe Biden transition team is considering the appointment of Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general, NPR reported on Friday.
Judge Garland, 68, currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and served as the court’s chief judge from 2013 to 2016. President Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016, to fill the vacancy left by deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.
However, Senate Republicans blocked the confirmation process, and Garland has since returned to the D.C. Circuit. During the Trump administration, the Republican-led Senate went on to confirm three Supreme Court justices, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the bench. Democrats have fought the appointments tooth-and-nail.
The Biden team is now considering Garland to replace current A.G. William Barr, two people with knowledge of the matter told NPR.
Barr has been a staunch ally of President Trump, although the attorney general considered resigning over the president’s tweets during the sentencing of Roger Stone. Republicans have applauded Barr for overseeing investigations into the Crossfire Hurricane probe and for his stances on religious liberty.
Should he accept the post, it is unclear whether Garland would continue to pursue indictments related to Crossfire Hurricane.
A Harvard graduate, Garland has previously served as a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration. Garland supervised domestic terrorism cases in that role, including the prosecutions of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
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