Attorney General Merrick Garland lost his temper in a heated exchange with Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday.
Van Drew made an opening statement before questioning Garland about an anti-Catholic memo circulated within the Department of Justice. Garland was brought before the committee for a hearing on the weaponization of the federal government against political opponents of President Joe Biden.
"The two-tiered system of justice is clear and it's clear to the American public," Van Drew said. "The buck stops with a man in charge. That man is you. The actions of the DOJ are on you. The decline of American's trust in our federal law enforcement is on you. The political weaponization of the DOJ is on you. Attorney general, I need a simple yes or no to the following. Just yes or no because we don't have much time. Do you agree that traditional Catholics are violent extremists, yes or no?"
Garland tried to frame an answer from Van Drew's statement, but Van Drew kept pressing for a direct answer.
"Attorney General, through the chair I ask you, do you agree that traditional Catholics are violent extremists? Answer the question," Van Drew said.
Garland said he didn't know what "traditional" meant but Van Drew cut him off.
"Catholics! Catholics that go to church," Van Drew said.
Garland said, "May I answer the question," and again was cut off.
"Yes or no," Van Drew said.
"The idea that someone with my family background would discriminate against any religion is so outrageous, so absurd, that's it's hard for me to answer your question," said a fuming Garland, who is Jewish.
Van Drew wouldn't let up: "Mr. Attorney General, it was your FBI that did this. It was your FBI that was sending — and we have the memos, we have the emails – were sending undercover agents into Catholic churches."
"Both I and the director of the FBI have said that we were appalled by that memo," Garland said.
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.