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Updated Mar 2, 2023, 10:46am EST
North America

AG Merrick Garland quotes Taylor Swift during Senate hearing

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland prepares to testify
REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger
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The News

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland invoked Taylor Swift while testifying before a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday during a discussion on competition in the ticketing industry.

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The Quote

While being grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee on oversight of the Department of Justice, Garland was asked about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s recommendation that prosecutors take action against Live Nation Entertainment, which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 and now dominates much of the American ticketing landscape.

“As Sen. Klobuchar would say, channeling Taylor Swift, I know that All Too Well,” Garland said of the issue. He added: “I’m pretty familiar with Taylor Swift.”

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A previous Senate hearing focusing on the ticketing industry resulted in a deluge of Swift quotes from senators.

Late last year, a series of tech debacles during the presales for Swift’s upcoming tour thrust the issue into the spotlight, with Klobuchar and other lawmakers saying Live Nation holds a monopoly over the industry.

Garland’s department is reportedly investigating Live Nation over whether it abused its power.

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“You can be confident that in all of our work, we approach it with an understanding that highly concentrated industries are a problem for competition,” Garland told the committee.

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Know More

The hearing was Garland’s first time testifying before the 118th Congress.

He was grilled by Republican senators who claimed the DOJ had become politicized, and questioned Garland’s involvement in investigations into Hunter Biden and former President Donald Trump.

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Several senators focused on the lack of charges against people who protested outside the homes of Supreme Court justices last year after the leaked opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, resulting in a tense back-and-forth with Sen. Ted Cruz.

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Notable

  • Garland is a dedicated Swiftie, he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Wednesday. His favorite song is Shake It Off, and he has a stack of her CDs in his office. He often drops her songs’ references during conversations and legal arguments. Asked whether he got tickets to her upcoming tour, he said: “That is a delicate question.”
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