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February 22, 2021 Merrick Garland Confirmation Hearing

Samuel Corum / Getty Images / FILE

The ongoing investigation into the Capitol riot, which left five dead, was the focus of today’s confirmation hearing.

On Monday, Attorney General Judge Merrick Garland called the insurgency “the most heinous attack on democratic processes” that he has ever seen and that he “never expected to see ” in his lifetime.

In an exchange with California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Garland outlined his plan to ensure the perpetrators of the attack are brought to justice.

“One of the very first things I will do is receive a briefing on the progress of this investigation. I intend to give the career attorneys who work on this issue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week , all the resources they might need to do that, “Garland said, adding,” And at the same time, I intend to make sure that we look more broadly, to see where it’s coming from, what other groups might raise the same problem in the future and that would protect the American people. And I know the director of the FBI made the same commitment. “

Democrats did not mention Trump by name when asking about the Jan.6 riot investigation, but did address whether the Justice Department should review Trump’s role, which led to his dismissal. Even GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, after voting for Trump’s acquittal in the Senate trial, has suggested that the criminal justice system is the place to look into these allegations instead.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, encouraged Garland to look “upstream”, asking if it was fair for the investigation to “not rule out an investigation into funders, organizers, leaders. in line or helpers and accomplices who were not present in the Capitol on January 6. “

“Good question,” Garland replied. “We will pursue these leads wherever they take us.”

Federal prosecutors have charged at least 250 people in connection with the Capitol Riot, according to a CNN analysis of court records and DOJ announcements. The riot was an attempt to stop the Senate from counting the electoral votes that confirmed President Biden’s victory. The Senate will hold its first public hearing tomorrow on the security failures that led to the deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

CNN’s Paul Murphy contributed to this article.

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