Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday slammed President Biden‘s nomination of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, calling on the Senate to reject what she called a “deeply shameful” choice.
The New York Democrat accused Mr. Emanuel, who was also President Obama’s first chief of staff, of helping “cover up” the death of Laquan McDonald, a Chicago teenager who was shot 16 times by a police officer, when he was mayor.
Mr. Emanuel had kept the police video of the October 2014 McDonald shooting under wraps until a federal judge ordered its release more than a year later, ruling the city violated records laws by withholding it.
Mr. Emanuel, a centrist Democrat who became close with Mr. Biden while both served in the Obama White House, has denied wrongdoing.
The footage ultimately contradicted officer reports that McDonald was threatening police at the time of the shooting. Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot the fatal shots as McDonald, was convicted of second-degree murder and the city reached a $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said the incident “should be flatly disqualifying for any position of public trust” for Mr. Emanuel.
“That the Biden administration seeks to reward Emanuel with an ambassadorship is an embarrassment and betrayal of the values we seek to uphold within our nation and around the world,” she said in a statement. “I urge the Senate to vote NO on his confirmation.”
Mr. Biden formally nominated Mr. Emanuel, 61, for the sensitive diplomatic post Aug. 20.