The nomination of Garland, who currently serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, will resonate with Democrats after Senate Republicans led by
Biden is also picking
A spokesman with Biden’s transition team declined to comment.
Biden made his decision before Tuesday’s runoff election for two Senate seats from Georgia but held off on making it public until it was clear that Democrats will have the Senate majority, one person familiar with the process said. It will be much easier for Biden to fill Garland’s current appellate court position with Democrats in the majority.
The choice of Garland fills the last of the “big four” cabinet posts Biden had remaining, after earlier naming his choices for secretaries of defense, state and treasury.
Obama nominated Garland in March 2016 for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice
Biden’s pick drew an enthusiastic response from Republican
Garland, 68, is a veteran of the legal community and Justice Department.
He first served in the department as a special assistant in President Jimmy Carter’s administration before going into private practice. He returned to the department for a brief stint in 1989 as an assistant U.S. attorney.
In 1993, he became a deputy assistant attorney general in the department’s criminal division and then was promoted to be a top aide to the deputy attorney general.
Garland oversaw high-profile domestic terrorism prosecutions, including for bombings in Oklahoma City and at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Biden chose Garland after figures including former Deputy Attorney General
If confirmed, Garland would become the nation’s top law enforcement officer after a year in which protests against systemic racism -- sparked by the death of an unarmed black man,
“People need to be reassured that the government can be trusted, that the Justice Department can be trusted and that we have a system where no one person is above the law,” said
From the beginning of his presidency, Trump made no secret that he expected “loyalty” from his attorney general and FBI director. In one of his first major crises, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, precipitating the appointment of a special counsel to look into Russian influence in the 2016 campaign.
Biden and his new attorney general are expected to pledge to maintain a bright line limiting interactions between the department and the White House, former department officials said.
“I’m not going to be saying, go prosecute A, B or C,” Biden told CNN on Dec. 3 “I’m not going to be telling them.”
Yet the department will have to navigate political land mines, from whether to push for charges against Trump once he leaves office to how to handle an ongoing criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service into Biden’s son,
There’s also a probe into the origins of the FBI investigation of Russia’s 2016 interference. It’s being led by
Monaco spent 15 years in the Justice Department during the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations. Her selection indicates that Biden wants to pair Garland with a trusted ally and veteran of the department who has years of national security and intelligence experience. As deputy attorney general, she’ll manage all components of the department and U.S. attorneys across the country.
In 2011 Monaco became the first woman to lead the Justice Department’s national security division, a position that required Senate confirmation. In 2013, Obama selected her to be the White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser.
The choices also align with Biden’s pledge to bring more diversity to the department’s top ranks and to revive civil rights, voting rights and police oversight as priorities.
Gupta, who is currently president and chief executive officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, led the department’s civil rights division from 2014 to 2017.
(Updates with Graham’s comment, background of deputy picks starting in ninth paragraph)
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.