Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland said Monday that he didn’t believe domestic terrorism to be “a one-off.”
Garland appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to take questions, making comparisons between the Capitol riot on January 6 and the Oklahoma City bombing and between Oklahoma City and the Ku Klux Klan. (RELATED: What Merrick Garland’s Time As Circuit Court Judge Tells Us About How He Will Lead The DOJ)
Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin posed the question to Garland, noting that he had been among those who first responded to the Oklahoma City bombing and asking whether he saw a direct line between the two.
“I don’t think that this is necessarily a one-off,” Garland replied, saying that FBI Director Robert Wray had called the threat of domestic terrorism — particularly white supremacy — a major concern.
“There is a line from Oklahoma City and there is another line from Oklahoma City all the way back to the experiences that I mentioned in my opening, with respect to the battles of the original Justice Department against the Ku Klux Klan,” Garland continued, adding that if confirmed, he would guide the Justice Department to “prevent this kind of interference with the policies of American democratic institutions.”
Durbin went on to ask how the Justice Department under Garland might handle the newer elements that face law enforcement, such as the fact that social media provides a platform for groups to make connections and plan such attacks.
“Mr. Chairman, I certainly agree that we are facing a more dangerous period than we faced in Oklahoma City,” Garland replied, adding that he couldn’t give specific details but would certainly prioritize any efforts in that area.