If he does, he's going to be linked to Benghazi.
Here's the story, from the Daily Caller (via Fox Nation):
Merrick Garland, President Obama’s choice to fill Antonin Scalia’s position on the Supreme Court, falsely blamed the YouRube video “Innocence of Muslims” for the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens during the Benghazi attacks, court transcripts show.Judicial Watch wanted the photos of the dead bin Laden released. But Garland accepted the government's argument that the release of the photos could inspire violence. He cited the reaction to the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims:
Judicial Watch flagged Garland’s comments, which came during a Jan. 10, 2013 hearing as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group for 52 photos of the body of Osama bin Laden.
Garland asserted that he was more concerned that the release could spark direct attacks on Americans.If Garland gets a hearing, I fully expect this line of attack to be used against him. The only question is whether the attack will spill over from the right-wing media to the Senate itself. (And yes, I think hr'e'll be attacked on this even if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election in a blowout. As long as she's in politics, the right will never let Benghazi go.)
“But so the question really is isn’t this worse?” Garland asked. “They’re telling us this could result in death, not just release of secret information, but death.”
“And we do know of examples where in this country we would think that the release of certain things would not have lead to this, and yet there were, not very long ago a video was released that did lead to death of an American ambassador, of other people, of riots in other cities, when the Government tells us that this is likely to lead to death isn’t that even more, something we should defer to even more than when they say well, this is going to lead to, you know, the release of some secret information?”
But it can't seriously be disputed that Innocence of Muslims inspired violence. Here's a Guardian story from September 14, 2012, titled "Controversial Film Sparks Protests and Violence Across the Muslim World":
By Friday morning what had begun as a small protest outside the US embassy in Cairo on Tuesday had set off protests across the Muslim world....And CNN reported this on September 21:
The Tunis demonstration began in quiet good spirits but ended in violence, as demonstrators breached the US embassy compound walls, lit fires and tore down the US flag, replacing it with a black Salafist banner. Elsewhere in the city, the American school was attacked....
By the end of the day, the back of the Tunis embassy compound was billowing flames and black smoke, while Tunisian riot police, visible inside the compound, appeared to have succeeded in protecting the main embassy building. Later, however, two protesters were reportedly killed and 40 injured during the attempt to storm it....
In Khartoum -- where some of the worst violence took place -- there were suggestions of direct involvement by the government in encouraging the protests....
In Cairo there was violence throughout the day around Tahrir Square and one protester died after clashes with police near the US embassy.
Demonstrations in parts of Pakistan ostensibly about an anti-Islam film spiraled into chaos Friday, as mobs ransacked banks, cinemas and government offices and engaged in clashes with authorities that left at least 15 dead.Wikipedia has an extensive entry titled "Reactions to Innocence of Muslims." You might want to jump straight to the section titled "Riots, Chaos and Damage."
The protests were not confined to Pakistan, as Muslims also hit the streets of Lebanon, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
Nor was the target of their ire new: Muslim-led demonstrations have occurred daily since September 11 over an obscure, 14-minute trailer for a film that mocks the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer.
... Pakistani authorities effectively gave their blessing to protests -- even as others, including the Tunisian government, banned them on Friday fearing unrest -- "by declaring a national holiday in protest of the film," noted Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
And, indeed, tens of thousands answered the call.
Most of them protested peacefully....
Yet there were significant exceptions, with authorities reporting 78 injured in addition to 15 killed in Peshawar and Karachi alone.
And I don't care what you think of David Kirkpatrick's assertions in The New York Times that, yes, the video was one of the motivating factors for some of the Benghazi attackers and that a captured attack ringleader, Ahmed Abu Khattala, confirmed this. It's simply a fact that violence happened in reaction to the video. But the right will use this against Garland if GOP senators ever deign to consider him.