Progressives rip Biden's 'offensive' Rahm Emanuel pick, urge Senate to oppose

Progressive lawmakers are ripping President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE’s “offensive pick” of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan and are urging the Senate to oppose his nomination.

In a joint statement, Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) bashed Emanuel, saying he helped “helped cover up the brutal murder” of Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot by Chicago police in 2014.

“In any other line of work, that would have rightfully ended his career. He has no business holding any position of public trust, let alone representing our nation on the world stage,” the progressive lawmakers said. “As Black Americans, we find the Biden Administration’s decision to nominate him not only professionally and politically indefensible, but personally offensive.”

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Jones and Bush further said that over the past year, “Senators across the political spectrum have extolled their commitment to advancing racial justice.”

“Voting to confirm Rahm Emanuel would betray that commitment. In this moment, Senators of good conscience must match their words with action and vote against the confirmation of Rahm Emanuel,” the lawmakers said.

Biden announced last month that he would nominated Emanuel to serve as ambassador to Japan. Prior to serving two terms as mayor, Emanuel served as a member of the House, where he led the Democrats to a majority in 2006.

But the former mayor’s handling of the McDonald shooting has become a focal point of progressive objections to him serving as the ambassador in Tokyo.

McDonald was shot 16 times in October 2014, but dash cam footage of the incident was hidden for a year under Emanuel’s administration.

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison in 2019 after being convicted of second-degree murder for shooting McDonald. Three other officers were acquitted of conspiracy to cover up the incident.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted Emanuel’s nomination, saying his handling of McDonald’s shooting should be “flatly disqualifying for any position of public trust, let alone representing the United States as an ambassador.”