Merrick Garland told the Senate Appropriations Committee that white supremacist groups constitute the most prominent domestic terror threat for the United States.
Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appeared on Capitol Hill Wednesday to discuss ongoing threats the United States faces and possible threats in the future. Garland told the Senate Committee that white supremacists are the country's most significant domestic terror threat in his statements.
"Domestic violent extremists pose an elevated threat in 2021, and in the FBI’s view, the top domestic violent extremist threat we face comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race," Garland said. Garland and Democratic lawmakers took the time to highlight the January 6 riot on Capital Hill and dismiss concerns about Antifa and far-left groups.
Sen. Richard Shelby asked Garland if equal attention was being paid to the Portland riots, and Garland responded, "We don't care what the ideology is; violations of law are pursued and are prosecuted. I think it's fair to say that in my career as a judge and in law enforcement, I have not seen a more dangerous threat to democracy than the invasion of the Capitol."
Democratic Senator Jack Reed pushed the Justice Department to use the Capital Hill riots to fight disinformation campaigns online that he claims are the work of Russian intelligence, "They are using the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol in such a manner to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy which is to disrupt and disunite and to indeed destroy, if they could, our democracy."
Mayorkas responded by saying, "We are intensely focused on the information with respect to Russia's effort to sow discord and disunity in our country."
Republicans also used this domestic terror hearing to highlight the threat of undocumented people coming through the southern border and who they might be. Mayorkas responded, stating, "We don't have any evidence to suggest that the threat on the border with respect to a foreign terrorist is any greater today than it was last year, the year prior or the years over the past decade,"