The role of attorney general remains the most important Cabinet post yet to be appointed by President-elect Joe Biden.
The top three candidates for the post are: Senator Doug Jones, Judge Merrick Garland and Sally Yates, according to sources familiar with the matter, after Jeh Johnson informed his allies on Tuesday night that he would not be serving in the Biden administration.
Here are the key things to know about potential candidates:
- Jones: The Alabama senator, who lost his race in November, is seen as the main candidate for the Justice Department’s leadership, people familiar with the matter say, especially given his long-standing friendship with Biden and of its strong civil rights record. It also fits into a pattern that is developing among several key Cabinet candidates: Biden is looking to people he has strong relationships with, are seen as competent, and might face an easier path to confirmation. transition Biden told CNN, but noted that Biden had not informed candidates of his final decision.
- Garland: The judge has also been under investigation for weeks. Some people familiar with the process say his candidacy has grown more serious over the past week and that there is still an option. Yet her appointment also faces more challenges than Jones, including a more complicated confirmation battle, the vacancy she would create in the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and questions from advocacy groups. civil rights. Garland’s Supreme Court nomination was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the last year of the Obama administration
- Yates: A former Deputy Attorney General would also face more difficult confirmation than Jones. As a 30-year career Justice official, the question remains as to whether she is best placed to lead the department in the post-Trump era. During her tenure as Deputy Attorney General, she stood on the sidelines while then FBI Director James Comey, who reported directly to her, repeatedly violated Department of Justice policy. Justice in dealing with the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
CNN previously reported that Lisa Monaco, a former homeland security adviser to the Obama White House who worked closely with Biden on his search for a vice president, is also being considered for the post of attorney general. Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts and former head of civil rights at the Department of Justice, was also under consideration.
A Biden transition official said a decision has yet to be made and an official announcement is not expected this week.
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