Sen. Lindsey Graham rejected a request from Sen. Dick Durbin to schedule a confirmation hearing next week, Feb. 8 for Biden’s nominee for attorney General, Judge Merrick Garland.
Since the Senate failed to reach a power-sharing agreement and an organizing resolution is yet to be passed, the upper chamber is still operating under the old rules which means, Graham is still the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Durbin, ranking member even though Democrats are in the majority.
Durbin urged Graham to schedule the hearing for Feb. 8 because there was “simply no justification” to avoid doing so.
In his response, Graham tried to justify holding up the confirmation of Garland telling Durbin in a letter that the impeachment trial of Donald Trump will require complete focus of the senators.
“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,” Graham wrote.
According to the Hill, Senate leadership agreed to a pretrial deal in which the Senate would conduct normal business in the morning and hold the impeachment trial in the afternoon. Republicans say they will block that from happening.