WILMINGTON, Del. – President-elect Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump’s supporters for violently attacking the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorists” and became visibly upset when discussing the racial double standard of the situation.
Biden gave remarks to introduce his Justice Department team but used the first portion to condemn the violence in Washington just 24 hours earlier. He called the attack “one of the darkest days in the history of our nation” and an “unprecedented assault on our democracy,” Biden went on to say Mr. Trump’s supporters were not protesters.
“They weren’t protesters. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple,” he said. “And I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming, but that’s not true. We could see it coming.”
Biden recalled a text message from his granddaughter, Finnegan, who pointed out how differently law enforcement officers treated the rioters from how they treated Black Lives Matters protesters over summer following the murder of George Floyd.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently from the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” he said.
“We all know that’s true. And it’s unacceptable. Totally unacceptable,” Biden added, with his voice being sharper and slamming his finger down on the podium.
The President-elect then turned to introduce Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee for attorney general. Garland was former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick and Republicans denied him a seat on the Court in 2016.
Garland has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997.
“More than anything, we need to restore the honor, the integrity, the independence of the Department of Justice in this nation that’s been so badly damaged,” Biden said.
Biden’s pick of Garland comes as he hopes to restore the public’s faith in the Justice Department, a a priority of his after after criticism that Mr. Trump had too much influence over the department.
“Our president is not above the law,” Biden said. “Justice serves the people. It doesn’t protect the powerful.”
Also at the event, Biden officially introduced Lisa Monaco as his selections for deputy attorney general, Vanita Gupta for associate attorney general and Kristen Clarke for assistant attorney general for civil rights.
Vice President -elect Kamala Harris gave remarks of her own, echoing Biden on what must happen moving forward following the chaotic events of Wednesday.
“We must ask ourselves two questions about what happened yesterday: What went wrong and how do we make it right?”, she said. “I believe the answer require us to recognize that the challenge we’re facing in our country is about more than the actions of the few we watched yesterday.”