Live Updates: Merrick Garland’s Senate Hearing

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While Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to testify Wednesday before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to defend the Justice Department’s $35.3 billion budget proposal, it’s possible that some members of the committee are clueless about recent decisions. Can turn to off-topic questions. Justice Department.

In recent weeks, the Justice Department has been criticized for a number of items, including their cause. to continue defending Former President Donald Trump stands in a defamation lawsuit and for not releasing an unpublished version of former Attorney General Bill Barr’s 2019 decision not to bring charges of obstruction against Trump’s involvement in the Russia investigation.

Nonetheless, this is Garland’s third time testifying before a Senate subcommittee since she was confirmed as attorney general nearly three months ago and her prepared remarks are about proposed historic budget increases across the department. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET.

Garland stressed the need to budget increases in the Justice Department’s cyber security strategies in the face of the increase in foreign and domestic cyber hackers. In the budget, Garland says it has proposed “the largest increase in cyber resources for the department in more than 10 years” with a request for $1.1 billion that includes $150.7 million in cyber program enhancements.

“Protecting our national security also requires combating cyber threats from foreign and domestic actors – whether nation states, terrorists, or criminals – who seek to spy, invade our privacy, attack our elections, and so on. They steal our intellectual property, damage our vital financial and physical infrastructure, or pay ransoms,” Garland says. “A full review of the department’s cyber security strategy is currently underway.”

One of the most high-profile ransomware attacks this year was against Colonial Pipeline, which caused gas shortages on the country’s east coast. The company paid a multimillion-dollar ransom to Darkside, a Russian-linked hacking group. The Justice Department announced Monday that they were able to seize $2.3 million in bitcoins paid to the group.

The budget for the Office on Violence Against Women includes a $486.5 million increase (nearly double the investment from the previous fiscal year) to address gender-based violence.

The Justice Department aims to invest $1.3 billion in community policing, including $13.6 million in funding for Task Force Officer Body Worn Camera Support. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco issued a memo on Monday that repealed a previous administration’s policy that federal agents were not required to wear and activate body-worn cameras when interacting with the public—now mandated to do so. is.

To combat violent crime and gun violence, the Justice Department is seeking an increase of $22.4 million for ATF and $421 million for state and local grant programs that include states’ efforts to draft gun licensing laws. Are included. The proposed $1.6 billion budget to combat international and domestic terrorism will aim to include $4 million for the National Institute of Justice to address the root causes of threats to domestic terrorism.


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