Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez early Wednesday publicly condemned President Joe Biden for his nomination of Rahm Emanuel to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, calling the selection “deeply shameful” given the former Chicago mayor’s record.
“As mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel helped cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald — a mere teenager when he was shot 16 times in the back by a Chicago Police Officer. This alone should be flatly disqualifying for any position of public trust, let alone representing the United States as an ambassador,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.
McDonald was murdered by Chicago police in October of 2014, with the mayor’s office withholding dash cam footage of the shooting — which showed the teenager shot in the back as he moved away from officers — until after Emanuel’s reelection in 2015. The revelations sparked outrage, demands for his resignation or removal from office, and only added to the negative reputation of a politician who throughout his career, including serving as White House chief of staff to former President Barack Obama, as being hostile to progressive values and human rights.
“That the Biden administration seeks to reward Emanuel with an ambassadorship is an embarrassment and betrayal of the values we seek to uphold both within our nation and around the world,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her Wednesday statement. “I urge the Senate to vote NO on his confirmation.”
Earlier this year, an array of civil rights and progressive advocacy groups lobbied the Biden administration to end consideration of Emanuel for any diplomatic appointment.
“Top diplomatic posts should only go to individuals with ethics, integrity, and diplomatic skills,” the groups said. “Emanuel possesses none of those qualifications.”