As the confirmation hearings to determine the suitability of Merrick Garland for US Attorney General began on Monday, the potential AG claimed the 2020 attacks on federal courthouses in the Pacific Northwest may not have been domestic terrorism- all due to the fact that the buildings were closed at the time.
During yesterday’s rapid-fire session, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asked Garland where he stood on the matter of the rash of left-wing violence carried out last year, particularly the attack on the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse in downtown Portland.
“Do you regard assaults on federal courthouses or other federal property as acts of domestic extremism, domestic terrorism?” Hawley asked.
Garland’s reply -which was recorded and broadcast on Twitter- likely left many baffled.
“Well, senator, my own definition, which is about the same as the statutory definition is the use of violence or threats of violence in attempt to disrupt democratic processes,” Garland responded. “So an attack on a courthouse while in operation, trying to prevent judges from actually deciding cases that plainly is, um, domestic extremism, um domestic terrorism.”
Garland seemingly went on to create a separation between the 2020 attacks and the January 2021 incident at the US Capitol.
“An attack simply on government property at night or any other kind of circumstances is a clear crime and a serious one and should be punished,” Garland responded. “I don’t mean, I don’t know enough about the facts of the example you’re talking about, but that’s where I draw the line when it one is, both are criminal, but one is a core attack on our democratic institutions.”
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