Sen. Amy Klobuchar is reportedly being considered for a number of positions within projected President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet.
According to “people briefed on the matter,” who prefer not to be named, Biden is interested in Klobuchar joining his cabinet as attorney general, agriculture secretary, or a number of other positions, CNBC reported.
Klobuchar could encounter intense analysis if she is asked to replace current Attorney General William Barr. Klobuchar’s tenure as Hennepin County attorney brought scrutiny from “civil rights activists and black community leaders” for her conviction of 16-year-old Myon Burrell, a black teenager who some claim was wrongly convicted of murdering 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards.
Burrell was tried in 2002 and again in 2008, when Klobuchar was no longer Hennepin County attorney. The 18-year-old case was brought under investigation this past February when the Associated Press published a report that “uncovered new evidence and myriad inconsistencies” in Klobuchar’s prosecution.
According to The Minnesota Sun, “Burrell’s co-defendants have insisted that he was not at the crime scene during the time of the murder,” and one defendant even said it was he who fired the shot.
Mary Moriarty, a public defender in Hennepin County, said that was a scary time for young, black teenagers who may have been involved with drugs or gangs. “I do firmly believe that there were people convicted of crimes that they did not do,” she said.
Early this year, activists from NAACP and Black Lives Matter called on Klobuchar to drop out of the presidential race because of her record as a prosecutor. Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond accused Klobuchar of using the criminal justice system to advance her political career.
Klobuchar insisted that if new evidence was uncovered, a retrial should occur immediately.
If the Republicans uphold their majority in the Senate, which is responsible for confirming cabinet appointments, Biden may have to be careful when selecting his nominees and stick to fairly moderate candidates.
According to CNBC, Klobuchar’s stance on antitrust laws and tech giants could lead Biden to favor her as attorney general. Her agriculture record includes proposing more funding for disaster relief, higher spending on farming conservation programs, and taxpayers covering “a greater percentage of farmers’ premium payments for crop insurance.”
Other names being considered for attorney general are Sen. Doug Jones, who recently lost his Alabama Senate seat; Sally Yates, former acting attorney general; and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.