Garland Says Violent Nighttime Portland Courthouse Attacks Not Domestic Terrorism, Not Sure If Illegal Border Crossing Is A Crime

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

President Biden’s AG pick, Merrick Garland, made some interesting statements during the first day of his confirmation hearing this week. Considering his potential position as the U.S. attorney general, the interesting statements revolved around crime.

Apparently, potential attorney general Merrick Garland hasn’t “thought about” the very significant question of whether illegal border crossing into the United States should remain a crime.

“I haven’t thought about that question. I just haven’t thought about that question…I just don’t know the answer to that question. I haven’t thought about it.”

When pressed again as to whether he would “continue to prosecute unlawful border crossings,” Garland carefully the issue again, calling it “a question of allocation of resources” and saying “I assume the answer would be yes, I don’t know what the issues surrounding it are.”

Considering all this “not knowing” about the major immigration issues and questions, Merrick Garland sure knows exactly what he plans to do to prosecute perceived racism and white supremacy.

Another interesting statement had to do with the Capitol Riot versus the multiple federal building attacks of last year by militant Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists. Senator Josh Hawley asked,

“Let me ask you about assaults on federal property in places other than Washington, D.C. Portland for instance, Seattle. Do you regard assaults on federal courthouses or other federal property as acts of domestic extremism, domestic terrorism?”

This question refers to the months of lawless rioting, especially in western states, that included repeated violent attacks on, and efforts to breach or destroy federal buildings. Merrick Garland explained his position that while the violent attacks on federal buildings in Portland by violent Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists were simply crimes, the violent attack on the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 was domestic terrorism.

“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. 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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What’s the difference? The difference is night and day. Literally.

One violent and destructive attack by lawless people took place during the day and is labeled “domestic terrorism” while the other violent and destructive attack by lawless people took place during the night and is simply “a crime.”

Or maybe, one was perpetrated by a violent organizations that regularly employ terroristic methods but that the Biden Administration prefers to pretend are a “myth” or a “social progress movement,” while the other is linked to the Biden Administration’s political opposition. Seems a little more plausible than “night” vs. “day.”

Garland cites the domestic terrorism statute 18 USC § 2331, which says,

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that— (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended— (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Interestingly, the statute does not limit domestic terrorism to daytime working hours.

Garland claimed that the current state of society is “more dangerous” than after the 1990s Oklahoma City bombing that killed almost 170 people. Garland was instrumental in prosecution and eventual execution the Oklahoma City Federal Building bomber.