Attorney General Merrick Garland displayed an impressive degree of patience as he was peppered with incredibly bizarre questions from Republican senators during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
But Sen. John Kennedy managed to get a laugh from Garland after firing off a series of outlandish questions and statements.
The Louisiana Republican fired a barrage of questions at Garland about an Oct. 4 memo directing the Department of Justice to investigate threats against local school board members after a national organization asked President Joe Biden for federal intervention.
During his questioning, Kennedy called the White House a “prophet” and Garland a “vessel.”
“The National School Board Association sent the letter to the White House and the White House promptly called you and said, ‘Sic the FBI on parents at school board hearings, and that’s what I mean,” Kennedy said. “The White House is the prophet here and you’re just the vessel, correct?”
Garland pushed back, telling Kenedy that he did not coordinate with the White House on the memo, which he said reflected his own views on protecting public officials from violence and threats while protecting parents’ rights.
But Kennedy pressed on: “I get that, I heard your testimony,” Kennedy said. “Were you worried you’d be fired if you didn’t issue the memorandum?”
That’s when Garland burst into laughter before answering the question.
“I’m not — I signed on this memorandum on my own,” Garland said. “I said from the very beginning, I’ve taken this job to protect the Department of Justice and make independent determinations with respect to prosecution, and I will do that.”
Watch the exchange below from YouTube: