Vance plans hold on Biden DOJ nominees in protest of federal Trump indictment

JD Vance
Republican Senate candidate JD Vance speaks during an election night watch party, Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster) Aaron Doster/AP

Vance plans hold on Biden DOJ nominees in protest of federal Trump indictment

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Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) announced his plans to put holds on all nominees to the Department of Justice on Tuesday, hitting back against what he calls “the unprecedented political prosecution” of former President Donald Trump after he was indicted on federal charges.

“I will be holding all Department of Justice nominees that Merrick Garland will use if confirmed, not to enforce the law impartially, which is his duty, but clearly to harass his political opponents,” Vance said in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. “I think we have to grind this department to a halt until Merrick Garland promises to do his job and stop going after his political opponents.”

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https://twitter.com/JDVance1/status/1668687446022692893?s=20

The Ohio Republican’s move means all DOJ nominees will require procedural votes and confirmation votes. It will prevent the Senate from approving President Joe Biden’s nominees by unanimous consent. Vance’s hold will not apply to those nominated to become U.S. marshals.

“Let’s make this department work a little more slowly until Merrick Garland changes course and does his job the right way,” Vance added.

Vance announced his plans shortly before Trump appeared in a Miami courthouse and pleaded not guilty to 37 felony charges related to his improper handling of classified White House documents. The charges include willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not directly respond to a question about the Ohio senator’s hold, but said the president’s team was “committed to getting our nominees through.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sidestepped a similar question, saying he was unaware of Vance’s plans.

“No one’s above the law, including Donald Trump, and ought to be no political or ideological interference as the case moves forward,” he said. “We don’t need political interference. We need strong law enforcement, and Donald Trump is not above the law, plain and simple.”

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Vance isn’t the only senator interfering with the confirmation process. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has been blocking military promotions on the Senate floor. On the Democratic side, Energy Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been opposing all Environmental Protection Agency nominees.

Additionally, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, is holding up health-related nominees over prescription drug prices.

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