Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said he supports President Biden’s attorney general nominee Merrick Garland — ensuring an easy confirmation vote.
McConnell (R-Ky.) engineered a 2016 election-year strategy by Republicans that blocked Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court and allowed former President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy instead with Neil Gorsuch a year later.
“I do” support Garland, McConnell told Politico.
The terse answer followed relatively sedate confirmation hearings for the federal appeals court judge, who offered carefully worded replies that made few headlines.
On Monday, Garland fielded senator questions on hot-button issues like gun control and the federal investigation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coverup of COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
Garland said, “I don’t know any of the facts, but I can guarantee you that somebody with a conflict of interest will not be the person running an investigation of any kind.” He was replying to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who asked about the fact that the mother-in-law of top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa is Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss.
The FBI and US attorney for the eastern district of New York are reportedly reviewing Cuomo’s concealment of death data, which DeRosa recently told state legislators was done because “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors.