- Judge Merrick Garland, Joe Biden’s attorney-general nominee, began his confirmation hearing Monday.
- Garland said domestic terrorism was “more dangerous” now than it was in the 1990s.
- The Capitol insurrection made the climate worse than the deadly Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, he said.
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Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, sounded the alarm on Monday on the threat of domestic terrorism in the United States.
“I certainly agree that we are facing a more dangerous period than we did in Oklahoma City at that time,” Garland told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing.
The 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people, including children. An investigation found that the conspirators were radicalized by white-nationalist propaganda in the aftermath of the deadly FBI raids at Waco and Ruby Ridge in the early ’90s.
Garland, a principal associate deputy attorney general at the time, led the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the bomber.
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 22, 2021
Garland attributed today’s heightened threat to the Capitol siege on January 6. He said that the insurrection was “not necessarily a one-off” and that the forces behind it stretched far back into American history.
“There is a line from Oklahoma City and another … to the original battles of the Justice Department against the Ku Klux Klan,” Garland said.
Garland said that as the attorney general he would be committed to pursuing the investigations into the insurrectionists and to getting the Department of Justice the resources necessary for a broader inquiry into the riot.
“If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy,” Garland said.