Biden’s attorney general pick vows to prosecute Capitol attackers

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden's attorney general nominee pledged to vigorously prosecute the Donald Trump supporters who attacked the US Capitol.

In testimony prepared for his confirmation hearing today and tomorrow, federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, 68, said the US faces a serious threat of extremism, as exemplified by the deadly Jan 6 attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol which shut down the legislature as lawmakers met to certify Mr Biden's win.

The Justice Department has already charged some 230 people in that event and is investigating hundreds more, with the possibility of charging some with seditious conspiracy.

"If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan 6 - a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government," Mr Garland said.


In an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, Mr Garland also said that enforcing equal justice for people of colour remains an incomplete and "urgent" task, 150 years after the Justice Department was founded following the Civil War.

He also indicated he wants to remove the taint of political interference left on the department by Mr Trump.

He said that if confirmed, he would reaffirm "policies that protect the independence of the department from partisan influence in law enforcement investigations (and) that which strictly regulate communications with the White House". - AFP