President-elect Joe Biden is strongly considering tapping outgoing Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) to serve as Attorney General in his incoming administration, NBC News reported on Tuesday.
NBC News' Kristen Welker reported on Tuesday that Doug Jones is "right now the leading choice" as pick for Attorney General in the incoming Biden administration. pic.twitter.com/KZq448kIzi
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 8, 2020
The news comes after earlier reports that Judge Merrick Garland, a former Obama nominee for the Supreme Court, was discussed as a potential pick for the top Justice Department job.
While vowing to ensure an apolitical Justice Department, Biden has also pledged to boost funding to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division amid wider efforts to address issues of racial injustice — an effort championed by Jones while serving as U.S. attorney in Alabama. Years after the 1963 Baptist church bombing that killed four Black girls, Jones brought charges against two more Ku Klux Klan members in an effort that further energized the civil rights movement.
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates is also among the leading candidates for the role. Yates was fired by Trump less than two weeks after he became president, for refusing to back his travel ban on visitors from Muslim majority countries. She and Jones also both vouched for Biden at the Democratic National Convention in August.
Former Obama-era Solicitor General Don Verrilli suggested at a virtual event last month at the Brennan Center for Justice that Biden’s attorney general pick, when confirmed, will be tasked not only with rebuilding public trust but also rebuilding confidence in the agency from the inside after “President Trump took a sledgehammer to the integrity of the Department of Justice.”
“I think we have to not only rebuild the public’s confidence in the Department of Justice as an institution, we have to rebuild the sense of confidence and integrity on the inside, because it’s been so terribly, terribly damaged over the last three and a half years,” Verrilli said.