Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before a House Judiciary Committee hearing, where he was questioned on the Justice Department's investigation into Hunter Biden.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared to get angry during a House hearing on Wednesday when a Republican lawmaker suggested the Justice Department is targeting Catholics.
“The idea that someone with my family background would discriminate against any religion is so outrageous, so absurd,” Garland said during the House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Garland, who is Jewish, had explained during his opening statements that his family members were victims of religious persecution in Europe and his grandmother’s siblings were murdered in the Holocaust.
“There is little doubt that but for America, the same thing would have happened to my grandmother,” Garland said in his opening remarks, according to USA Today. “But this country took her in, and under the protection of our laws, she was able to live without fear of persecution. That protection is what distinguishes this country from so many others. The protection of law, the rule of law is the foundation of our system of government.”
“Repaying this country for the debt my family owes, for our very lives has been the focus of my entire professional career,” he continued.
Garland appeared emotional several times during his testimony when he referenced his religious background.
His fiery rebuke came after Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.) questioned whether the Justice Department was unfairly targeting Catholics because of their religious beliefs. The question was regarding an FBI memo leaked in January titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities,” which House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) claimed meant that the FBI was targeting certain Catholics as domestic terrorists.
“Both I and the director of the FBI have said that we were appalled ... by that memo,” Garland said in response. “We were appalled by that memo.”
Wow. I've never seen Garland this mad.
"The idea that someone with my family background would discriminate against any religion is so outrageous, so absurd!" he says to Rep. Jeff Van Drew pic.twitter.com/TWy8Inelr7
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 20, 2023
Drew continued to question Garland about whether Catholics are extremists.
“Everything in that memo was appalling,” Garland said. “Catholics are not extremists, no.”
The testimony was part of a hearing on the Justice Department’s investigation into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Garland testified that the Justice Department had not gone easy on Hunter Biden, as Republicans are claiming.