75 Ex-top Prosecutors Endorse Biden’s Pick For Associate AG

News18
·3-min read

WASHINGTON: More than 75 former U.S. attorneys are throwing their support behind President Joe Bidens nominee for associate attorney general and urging congressional leaders to quickly confirm her to the post.

Vanita Gupta has been nominated for the No. 3 position in the Justice Department, a position in which she would be responsible for overseeing the departments civil, antitrust and civil rights litigation, but also for helping to implement policy decisions on a host of nationwide issues. She was in charge of the Justice Departments civil rights division in the Obama administration.

The Senate has scheduled the confirmation hearing for Gupta and Lisa Monaco, Bidens nominee for deputy attorney general, for March 9. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a two-day hearing last week and then voted Monday to advance the nomination of Merrick Garland to be attorney general.

Many of us observed firsthand Ms. Guptas independence, integrity, and excellent judgment when she served as the head of the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division, read the letter, signed by a bipartisan group of former top prosecutors. In that position, she worked hand-in-hand with U.S. Attorneys Offices to protect vulnerable members of our communities by prosecuting those who committed hate crimes, human trafficking, and other violations of our civil rights laws.

The letter further emphasizes the support Gupta has received from law enforcement organizations and prosecutors as the administration seeks to move the Justice Department forward after a tumultuous four years under Donald Trump.

Her nomination has been endorsed by some of the most prominent law enforcement organizations in the nation, including the National Fraternal Order of Police, whose president said she has always been able to find common ground even when that seemed impossible.

Although in some instances our disagreements remain, her open and candid approach has created a working relationship that is grounded in mutual respect and understanding, the organizations national president, Patrick Yoes, said in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Last month, a conservative advocacy group, the Judicial Crisis Network, launched an ad campaign against Guptas nomination, arguing that she was dangerous and trying to cast her as soft on crime. Other conservative groups have sought to push a narrative that she is anti-police and on Monday, five Republican attorneys general sent a letter to Biden asking him to withdraw her nomination because of what they said were recent public, adverse statements toward police.

Before her nomination, Gupta was in charge of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of civil rights organizations.

In the letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the leaders of the Judiciary Committee — Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the former prosecutors said they understand how critical it is for the Justice Departments leaders to have an unshakable commitment to its independence and its integrity.

We know Ms. Gupta to be a lawyer and public servant who shares those values: she has devoted her professional and personal life to supporting and defending the Constitution and those it protects, the letter said. The country can count on her to lead with passion, conviction, humility, and without political influence.

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