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Biden Introduces Merrick Garland as Attorney General Nominee, Calls Capitol Rioters 'Domestic Terrorists'

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President-elect Joe Biden introduced Merrick Garland as his pick for attorney general on Thursday.

Biden also assailed President Donald Trump and described the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday as “domestic terrorists.”

“The past four years we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done,” Biden declared.

“More than anything, we need to restore the honor, the integrity, the independence of the Department of Justice that’s been so badly damaged.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Garland would take over as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

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He would inherit immediate challenges including an ongoing criminal tax investigation into Biden’s son Hunter and a special counsel investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

“As everyone who watched yesterday’s events in Washington now understands, if they did not understand before, the rule of law is not just some lawyers’ turn of phrase, it is the very foundation of our democracy,” Garland said.

Garland’s confirmation prospects were all but ensured when Democrats scored control of the Senate by winning both Georgia seats in Tuesday’s runoffs elections.

Biden also introduced three others for senior Justice Department leadership posts, including Obama administration homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and former Justice Department civil rights chief Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general.

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He also named an assistant attorney general for civil rights, Kristen Clarke, now the president of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an advocacy group.

Garland was selected over other finalists including former Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

Garland was put forward by former President Barack Obama for a seat on the Supreme Court in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but Republicans refused to hold confirmation hearings in the final year of Obama’s term.

Garland has been on the federal appeals court in Washington since 1997. Before that, he had worked in private practice, as well as a federal prosecutor, a senior official in the Justice Department’s criminal division and as the principal associate deputy attorney general.


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