“This department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes,” Garland said, invoking his predecessor Robert Jackson — a former attorney general in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration who went on to serve as the chief U.S. prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.
Garland has spoken publicly in the past about his grandparents fleeing antisemitic pogroms in Eastern Europe in the early 1900s, eventually finding refugee in the United States. A former Supreme Court nominee and chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Garland rose to prominence in part because of his role in the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers.
“Today, we are assisting international efforts to identify and hold accountable those responsible for atrocities in Ukraine, and we will continue to do so,” Garland said on Tuesday.
Elaborating on the U.S. assistance, Garland said the Justice Department’s most senior criminal division prosecutors met on Monday with prosecutors from the European Union law enforcement agencies Eurojust and Europol “to work out a plan for gathering evidence with respect to Ukraine.”
In addition, Justice Department officials are working with a State Department team “on a multinational effort to support the Ukrainian prosecutor,” who has requested assistance from the United States on the collection of evidence.
On Tuesday, Garland said he spoke personally with the chief Justice Department prosecutor in Paris, who is there meeting with the French war crimes prosecutor. French prosecutors have opened three probes into possible war crimes committed by Russian forces against French nationals in Ukraine.