From CNN’s Jeff Zeleny
President-elect Joe Biden has decided to nominate Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general, people familiar with the matter tell CNN. It’s a long-awaited decision that was moved toward completion Wednesday.
The announcement of the attorney general, along with other senior leaders of the Justice Department, is expected to be made as soon as Thursday as Biden moves closer to filling the remaining seats in his Cabinet before assuming power on Jan. 20.
While Garland has been a top contender for weeks, concerns about the vacancy his selection would create on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia raised alarm bells among Biden and many advisers who believed Senate Republicans would block any nomination to that seat. But with Democrats set to control the Senate after winning two Georgia races, those concerns were allayed.
“Judge Garland will be viewed in a whole new light now,” a top Biden ally tells CNN.
From CNN’s Phil Mattingly
While Republicans in both chambers plan a series of objections that will lead to debate and a vote, sources tell CNN it’s also likely Republicans will attempt to raise objections that line up with some of the fringe theories pushed by President Trump – something that could result in a few fleeting moments of chaos.
Those objections, in whatever form they are made, will be summarily dismissed by Vice President Pence as out of order. The format in which they’ll be presented is still fluid, but it won’t matter. There’s a way to object, as laid out in clear detail by statute, during this process and any effort outside of those guardrails will not be considered.
Among the possible issues that could be raised:
All of these possibilities remain fluid, sources say, but it’s something to watch from House Republicans. And again, they will all fail before they can’t even be considered.
From CNN’s Jim Acosta
A longtime senior Trump adviser says the President’s behavior has become “horrific” as he continues to pressure Vice President Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers to overturn the election results – something they cannot do.
The adviser said multiple aides and associates have explained to Trump on numerous occasions that Pence cannot toss out the results from Nov. 3.
“He knows what the legal procedures are now,” the adviser said.
But this source, who has been involved in the election challenge discussions, said Trump is brushing off any counsel to move on and accept defeat and is instead taking his cues from a motley crew of suspect legal advisers, including television personalities at the conservative news outlet, OANN.
This adviser said aides to the president have been mortified by his behavior toward Pence, describing it as “horrific.”