Joe Biden, elected resident, chose Merrick Garland, who in 2016 was criticized by Republicans for a seat on the Supreme Court, as his attorney general.
The leak comes from two people “familiar with the selection process,” the PA reported and will force Senate Republicans to fight the nomination of someone they vetoed just four years ago .
Biden is expected to announce the appointment of the Federal Court of Appeal judge along with others on Thursday, including the new role of former Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general.
Mr. Garland is a seasoned judge who held senior positions in the Justice Department decades ago, including a role as prosecution supervisor for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
The news came as President Donald Trump swore ‘we will never concede’
Garland was selected from other finalists, including Alabama Senator Doug Jones and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
But those who leaked the information to AP agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.
If confirmed, Garland would face immediate challenges, including an ongoing criminal tax investigation into Biden’s son Hunter, as well as calls from many Democrats to continue the investigation into Trump after he leaves.
An investigation by a special advocate into the origins of the Russia probe also remains open, forcing a new attorney general to decide how to handle it and what to make public.
People attend a rally at Freedom Plaza on Tuesday January 5, 2021 in Washington in support of President Donald Trump
Garland would also inherit a Justice Department that has gone through four tumultuous years and would likely have to focus on civil rights issues and overhauling national police policies.
The news came as President Donald Trump vowed ‘we will never concede’ as he spoke to supporters shortly before Congress convened for a joint session to confirm the electoral college vote won by the president elected Joe Biden.
Trump took the stage at the Save America rally, which drew thousands of supporters who invaded the country’s capital as the president’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to oppose his November election loss against Biden.
Trump has urged Vice President Mike Pence, who will play a largely ceremonial role in the process, to block certification of Biden’s victory. Pence does not have this power.
“Our country has had enough,” Trump said. “We won’t take it anymore.”