Attorney General Merrick Garland seeks funds to fight domestic terrorism and hate crimes


The newly minted attorney general will make the case that the Justice Department needs more resources to stop the growing threat of domestic terrorism.

Attorney General Merrick Garland will visit Congress Tuesday in support of the  Department of Justice request for a $45 million boost to help combat the growing threat of domestic terrorism in the United States, as well as a request for another $40 million to help federal prosecutors manage the increased number of cases.

Garland will make the requests at a House Appropriations Committee hearing, according to prepared remarks. It will mark his first time testifying on Capitol Hill since he was sworn in as the nation's top law enforcement officer.

His request comes as federal prosecutors continue their efforts to charge those involved in the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the building to try to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Five people died in the attack, and more than 100 law enforcement officers were injured as the pro-Trump crowd forced their way into the building.

According to a CNN report, at least 400 people have been charged to date with their role in the riot. CNN added that 100 more people could be charged in the coming days.

CBS News reported that prosecutors have called the case "the most complex investigation ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice."

During his confirmation hearing, Garland vowed to combat the rising threat of domestic terrorism, calling the Capitol insurrection, "the most heinous attack on the democratic processes that I’ve ever seen, and one that I never expected to see in my lifetime."

Garland also vowed to "give the career prosecutors who are working on this manner 24/7 all the resources they could possibly require."

Garland isn't only seeking funding to prosecute the Capitol insurrectionists.

He's also seeking money to combat the surge of right-wing and white supremacist domestic terrorism that occurred during Trump's tenure.

Right-wing domestic terror attacks hit an all-time high in Trump's last year in office, according to a report from the Washington Post. The report found that right-wing extremists were behind 267 plots that led to 91 deaths since 2015. Right-wing extremists were charged last year for a plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Aside from funding to combat domestic terrorism, Garland will also seek an additional $33 million for the civil rights division of the DOJ to, among other things, address the surge of hate crimes in the United States. Anti-Asian hate crimes have risen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic after high-profile Republican figures like Trump blamed China for the coronavirus.

"From protecting voting rights to prosecuting hate crimes like those experienced by our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, DOJ's civil rights work is critical to protecting the American dream," Garland will say, according to his prepared remarks.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.