- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Justice Department is reviewing its powers to combat the rise of domestic terrorism, Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell Congress on Wednesday.

Mr. Garland is set to appear Wednesday morning before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which is holding a hearing on violent homegrown extremists. He will testify alongside Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

In his opening statement, obtained by The Washington Times, Mr. Garland will lay out the Justice Department’s plan to “reassess” its ability to confront domestic terrorism.

Mr. Garland will tell lawmakers that the goal of the review is to ensure the department is nimble to make necessary changes to adapt to a changing threat landscape.

The review is expected to result in a series of changes across the Justice Department to better collect information and share information about threats, more effectively coordinate federal resources, and improve training for law enforcement officials at the federal state, and local levels, Mr. Garland will say.

The FBI, State Department, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are among the agencies that the Justice Department will seek improved coordination, according to Mr. Garland’s prepared remarks. 

Mr. Garland will also tell lawmakers that he recently issued guidance to all federal prosecutors emphasizing the need for consistency in domestic terrorism cases. He will also discuss new requirements for prosecutors to identify and track domestic terrorism, but those guidelines were not disclosed in his opening remarks. 

“At the Justice Department, we are committed to using every appropriate tool at our disposal, to deter, disrupt, and punish acts of domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism,” he will say. 

Mr. Garland will say the Justice Department’s investigation into the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has resulted in more than 430 arrests. 

The hearing comes as the Biden administration prepares to announce the conclusions of a domestic terrorism review led by the National Security Council.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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