Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is pushing back on "highly unusual" efforts by Ranking Member Dick Durbin to rush through the confirmation hearing of Judge Merrick Garland, who has been nominated by President Joe Biden to become the next U.S. Attorney General.
"Your request is highly unusual. The Senate is about to conduct its first ever impeachment trial of a former president, and only its fourth trial of a president, incumbent or not. Under the procedure the Senate has adopted, Donald Trump’s trial is set to start on February 9. But you want us to rush through Judge Garland’s hearing on February 8. An impeachment is no small thing. It requires the Senate’s complete focus. This is why I didn’t consider any judicial nominees during last year’s impeachment trial. Democrats do not get to score political points in an unprecedented act of political theater on one hand while also trying to claim the mantle of good government on the other," Graham wrote in a letter to Durbin, noting that all five previous attorney generals were given two day hearings.
"I look forward to questioning Judge Garland and potentially supporting his nomination, but not on February 8. Governing requires trade-offs. When the Senate’s focus is required to consider whether to bar a former president from being reelected, other business must stop. Proceeding with the confirmation of an attorney general and the impeachment of a former president at the same time would give neither the attention required," he continued.
Graham also noted that while Durbin is pushing to rush Garland's confirmation, the Committee is still missing key information and documents related to the nomination.