Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Friday, according to a Justice Department official, his second trip to the country after Russia invaded a little more than a year ago.
The trip was not announced for security reasons, the official said.
Garland was invited to Lviv by the Ukrainian prosecutor general, the official said, and joined President Volodymyr Zelensky at the “United for Justice Conference.”
The official added that Garland “held several meetings and reaffirmed our determination to hold Russia accountable for crimes committed in its unjust and unprovoked invasion against its sovereign neighbor.”
The trip comes nearly two weeks after President Joe Biden made his first trip to Ukraine since the war began and is one of several trips made by members of Biden’s Cabinet. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also recently made a trip to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky.
The attorney general last went to Ukraine in June and similarly committed the United States’ assistance in finding and prosecuting those who committed war crimes. During that trip, Garland announced that he was appointing Eli Rosenbaum, the top US so-called “Nazi hunter,” to lead a Justice Department team to identify and prosecute war criminals.
On Wednesday, Garland testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believed the Russian government was committing crimes against humanity and said the Justice Department supports efforts by The Hague to investigate and prosecute those crimes. [Continue reading…]