Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) said this week that he would work to slow all appointments to the Department of Justice (DOJ) due to the indictment against former President Donald Trump.
The senator made the announcement on Twitter, posting a video of himself at the Capitol.
Vance said that he would attempt to block the confirmation of all “nominees that [Attorney General] Merrick Garland will use if confirmed, not to enforce the law impartially, which is his duty, but clearly to harass his political opponents.”
“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,” he added.
Until Merrick Garland stops using his agency to harass Joe Biden’s political opponents, I will hold all DoJ nominees. pic.twitter.com/UVRwi6Ue01
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) June 13, 2023
Due to Vance’s move, nominees to the DOJ cannot be approved through unanimous consent without a full floor vote. The only exception to the plan would be for 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,” he said.
The Ohio Republican said that the former president was simply the “latest victim of a Department of Justice that cares more about politics than law enforcement.”
He cited cases in which the Justice Department “harasses Christians for pro-life advocacy, but allows hardened criminals to walk our streets unpunished.”
Vance’s proposal won praise from a number of figures on the political right, including Donald Trump, Jr. and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
“Action is the only way forward,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). “Stop the weaponized government and hold them accountable.”
Conversely, some Democrats criticized the plan, with Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY), writing that Vance’s plan would use “your tax dollars to act as Trump’s legal defense team.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “We don’t need political interference. We need strong law enforcement, and Donald Trump is not above the law, plain and simple.”
Vance’s plan elicited little reaction from the White House. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre simply said that the administration was “committed to getting our nominees through.”