Judge Merrick Garland told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday that Antifa’s attacks on the U.S. courthouse in Portland last year may not have been “domestic terrorism,” because unlike the Capitol riot, they took place at night when the court was not “in operation.”
Garland, who is President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, was questioned at his confirmation hearing by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO):
Sen. Hawley: Let me ask you about assaults on federal property in places other than Washington, DC — Portland, for instance, Seattle. Do you regard assaults on federal courthouses or other federal property as acts of domestic extremism, domestic terrorism?
Judge Garland: 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 the democratic processes. So an attack on a courthouse, while in operation, trying to prevent judges from actually deciding cases, that plainly is domestic extremism, domestic terrorism. An attack simply on a 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 know enough about the facts of the example you’re talking about. But that’s where I draw the line. One is — both are criminal, but one is a core attack on our democratic institutions.