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A.G. Garland to Transfer Power During 90-Minute Surgery

Attorney General Merrick Garland is scheduled for back surgery this weekend, but is going out of his way to make sure that there are no doubts about who will be in charge during his absence, Politico reports. Garland, 71, will turn over his duties to the Justice Department’s No. 2 official — Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco — during the surgery and while he recovers from the anesthesia.


The unusual, early announcement by the Biden administration’s top law enforcement officer is intended to avoid the storm of criticism Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin faced recently after failing to tell colleagues and the White House when he was hospitalized for prostate cancer surgery. Garland is scheduled to have a “minimally invasive back procedure” Saturday to treat spinal stenosis — a narrowing of spaces in vertebrae, Justice Department spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement Monday. “The procedure requires general anesthesia and will last about 90 minutes. He is likely to go home the same day, and return to work the following week, she said.

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