- Letters of support for Biden’s Associate Attorney General nominee were issued by officials who served in George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations, as well a former GOP House member.
Former Department of Justice officials have reportedly written to GOP senators encouraging them to confirm Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general. Gupta has been receiving resistance from Republican senators for her views on defunding the police and decriminalizing possession of all illegal drugs.
The Hill reported that letters of support for Gupta were issued by former Department of Justice officials who served during the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations, as well as one former GOP House member and a former Republican commissioner of the Federal Elections Commission. “Because Vanita Gupta is a strong leader and consensus-builder, we join to urge her prompt confirmation,” the letter said, according to The Hill. It was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and top Senate Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
Among the signatories were Michael Chertoff, who served as Homeland Security secretary during the George W. Bush administration; and Don Ayer, who served as deputy attorney general for George H.W. Bush, and several former United States attorneys, The Hill reported. As per the report, Larry Thompson, who served as deputy attorney general under George W. Bush, separately wrote to the senators in support of Gupta, as did former Rep. Tom Coleman (R-Mo.) A fourth letter was sent on March 16, to Durbin and Grassley, from former Republican FEC Chairman Trevor Potter, “who specifically sought to dismiss efforts to characterize Gupta as a partisan,” The Hill reported.
Earlier this week. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has said he will likely support Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General, a move that is expected to move her nomination ahead. Manchin told CNN on March 15 that he is likely to back Gupta’s nomination “because of high marks” given to her by the Biden administration’s new attorney general, Merrick Garland.
If confirmed, Gupta would serve as the first woman of color in the post, and would oversee the department’s civil and human rights divisions, as well as antitrust, environmental, grant-making and community policing matters.
During her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 9, Republicans called Gupta a “hypocrite, a radical and a Left activist.” They accused her for supporting to defund the police, which she denies, and criticized her for an earlier call to decriminalize possession of all illegal drugs, a position she says she no longer agrees with.Her past tweets were also held against her doing her testimony. Sen Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), read aloud past posts from Gupta’s Twitter feed in which she assailed Republicans, and accused her of “excessive partisanship.”
Throughout the hearing, Gupta calmly weathered the vitriol coming her way, and defended her record as a lifelong civil liberty advocate, a consensus builder, a bridge builder.