Biden to introduce Merrick Garland as pick for AG and other key justice nominees Thursday


“They were a riotous mob — insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware, as he began a speech in which he planned to introduce federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee for attorney general.

“And I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming, but that isn’t true. We could see it coming,” Biden said. “The last 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. He unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset, and yesterday was but a culmination … of that attack.”

“Trying to use a mob to silence the voices of nearly 160 million Americans who summoned the courage in the face of a pandemic that threatened their health and their lives to cast that sacred ballot,” Biden said of Trump’s actions, referring to the number of Americans who voted in the 2020 presidential election.

He said he’d received a text from his granddaughter pointing out that Black Lives Matter protesters would have been treated much more aggressively by police than pro-Trump rioters were Wednesday.

“We all know that’s true, and it’s unacceptable. Totally unacceptable,” he said. “The American people saw it in plain view.”

Four people are dead after Trump urged his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes in Congress, repeating lies about the election being stolen from him and promising to join them.

The comments came at the beginning of Biden’s speech on a day he intended to roll out his team for the Justice Department.

To serve under Garland at the Justice Department, Biden has chosen Lisa Monaco, who served as assistant attorney general for national security in the Obama administration, as his nominee for deputy attorney general.

The President-elect has also selected Vanita Gupta, a former acting assistant attorney general in the Obama administration, as his nominee for associate attorney general, and Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, as his nominee for assistant attorney general for the civil rights division.

“Our first-rate nominees to lead the Justice Department are eminently qualified, embody character and judgment that is beyond reproach, and have devoted their careers to serving the American people with honor and integrity,” Biden said in a statement.

The President-elect continued, “They will restore the independence of the Department so it serves the interests of the people not a presidency, rebuild public trust in the rule of law, and work tirelessly to ensure a more fair and equitable justice system.”

Garland’s selection for attorney general comes shortly after Georgia elected Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to the Senate, flipping control of the chamber to the Democratic Party.

Garland, whose nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016 by President Barack Obama was ignored by Senate Republicans, was seen as a top contender for the position, but concerns about the vacancy his selection would create on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had raised alarm bells among Biden and many advisers who believed Senate Republicans would block any nomination to that seat. Democrats winning the Senate allayed those concerns.

Biden was planning to deliver a speech on the economy Wednesday afternoon, but scrapped his speech and instead addressed the chaos and violence in Washington. He said the rioting by Trump supporters at the US Capitol amounted to an “unprecedented assault” on US democracy.

“This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos,” Biden said. “It borders on sedition, and it must end now.”

Source : CNN