Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland will face questions over how he plans to address the federal probe into Hunter Biden’s tax dealings and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home scandal at his confirmation hearing Monday.
Both of the issues will be top of mind for Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee during Garland’s confirmation hearings, which will take place over a two-day period.
In his opening remarks to the committee, released over the weekend, the DC circuit court judge will reveal his plans to launch an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government,” his opening statement reads.
His remarks, however, do not address Cuomo or the younger Biden, leaving lawmakers with no choice but to grill him on the topics.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), who serves on the panel, wrote informing him of their decision to question the nominee to be the nation’s top law enforcement agent on the governor’s behavior.
“When Judge Garland testifies before this Committee, we expect him to commit the Department of Justice to fully investigating this cover-up to determine whether any criminal laws were violated and to prosecute any violations,” the letter reads.
“We will also ask him whether he has the resources he needs to fully pursue an investigation, not only into the deaths that occurred in New York but the deaths that occurred in other states that adopted similar directives leading to the admission of COVID-19 infected persons into elder care facilities,” it continues.
Cuomo is facing a legal and political reckoning over his administration’s alleged withholding of data related to the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a damning report late last month saying the state likely undercounted the nursing home COVID-19 death toll by more than 50 percent.
After that, the state’s embattled health commissioner confirmed that the total number of resident fatalities were just under what the AG had predicted.
Earlier this month, The Post exclusively reported that top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers, telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors.
Now, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York have opened a probe into the matter.
The bombshell admission by DeRosa led to calls for an investigation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in response to news of the federal probe, “As we publicly said, DOJ has been looking into this for months. We have been cooperating with them and we will continue to.”
Meanwhile, the younger Biden’s lucrative overseas business relationships drew scrutiny during the presidential campaign.
In the final months of the heated 2020 race, The Post revealed a trove of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop that raised questions about then-candidate Joe Biden’s ties to his son’s foreign business ventures, including Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company linked to corruption.
Additionally, Senate Republicans revealed the findings of their investigation into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings in September.
Some of those findings included that the Obama administration ignored “glaring warning signs” when the then-Vice President Biden’s son joined Burisma when he had no energy experience.
Hunter Biden’s position with Burisma — which paid him “as much as $50,000 per month” — “created an immediate potential conflict of interest” because his father was involved in US policy toward Ukraine, the report stated.
Garland was nominated by then-President Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy in wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in March 2016. At the time, Republicans controlled the Senate while Obama, a Democrat, had the White House.
McConnell would not allow Garland’s nomination to be brought to a vote in the Senate at the time, saying it was too close to the presidential election.
His nomination to AG, however, is expected to receive bipartisan support.