Garland Defends Justice Dept. Moves Upholding Trump-Era Positions

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland defended on Wednesday recent Justice Department moves upholding Trump-era positions on controversial cases, vowing to continue to adhere to the rule of law regardless of political pressure.

“The essence of the rule of law is what I said when I accepted the nomination for attorney general,” Mr. Garland said at a budget hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, adding that his goal was to ensure that there was “not be one rule for Democrats and another for Republicans, that there not be one rule for friends and another for foes.”

Mr. Garland continued: “It is not always easy to apply that rule. “Sometimes it means that we have to make a decision about the law that we would never have made and that we strongly disagree with as a matter of policy.”

The Justice Department defended on Monday a legal position taken under the Trump administration in a case involving E. Jean Carroll, a writer who in 2019 publicly accused former President Donald J. Trump of sexually assaulting her 25 years earlier.

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