Democrat senator says ‘white supremacists’ are most ‘lethal threat’ facing America

Senator Patrick Leahy said the biggest threat facing Americans comes from “white supremacy extremists,” during a Senate Appropriations hearing on law enforcement funding.

“Let’s not ignore the plain fact…that white supremacist extremists are the most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland, the Vermont Democrat said. “Drawing false equivalence between this form of violent extremism and others only detracts” from focusing resources, he added.

Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday at a hearing centered around the domestic violent extremist threat facing the country. Garland and Mayorkas are requesting $100 million of additional funds in President Biden’s budget request to address domestic terrorism threats.

“Domestic violent extremism poses the most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat to our country today,” Mayorkas said in an April statement.

Garland’s opening statement focused on the “heinous attack” and “intolerable assault” on the Capitol on Jan. 6, in which he says more than 430 people have been arrested for participating. He also addressed crimes against Asian Americans in recent months.

“Hate crimes have no place in our society, and the Department, led by our Civil Rights Division, is committed to prosecuting those who commit them,” Garland said.

The intense focus on white supremacy by the nation’s top law enforcement agencies comes as the nation grapples with a cyber attack that forced the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston to Linden, New Jersey, and supplies 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.

This story is developing, as the Senate Appropriations hearing began at 10 a.m. Wednesday.