January 27, 2021

Durbin Discusses Justice Department Priorities With Lisa Monaco And Vanita Gupta, Biden Nominees For Deputy And Associate Attorneys General

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), incoming Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Lisa Monaco and Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominees for Deputy and Associate Attorneys General. During their Zoom calls, Durbin, Monaco, and Gupta discussed the importance of working closely together on Department of Justice (DOJ) priorities, including reinvigorating DOJ’s protection of Americans’ civil rights and voting rights, criminal justice reform and implementing the First Step Act, and combating hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

“Lisa Monaco and Vanita Gupta will be excellent additions to the Department of Justice as Deputy Attorney General and Associate Attorney General,” Durbin said. “They will help restore a Civil Rights Division that was dismantled by the Trump Administration.They will strengthen the Justice Department’s efforts to combat the lethal threat of violent white supremacists and other far-right extremists. And they will work to implement critical reforms to our federal prison system, including those contained in the landmark First Step Act. Their extensive qualifications and previous experience in the Justice Department speak for themselves, and I look forward to working with each of them to address the many urgent priorities facing the Department and our nation.”

A photo of Durbin’s Zoom call with Lisa Monaco available here.

A photo of Durbin’s Zoom call with Vanita Gupta available here.

Monaco worked from 2017-2021 as a partner at the law firm O’Melveny where she co-chairs the firm’s Data Security and Privacy group.  From 2013-2017 she served as President Obama’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor.  From 1998 to 2013 she worked in the Justice Department, serving as: Assistant Attorney General for National Security (2011-13); Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General (2010-11); Associate Deputy Attorney General (2009-10); Chief of Staff to the FBI Director (2007-09); Special Counsel to the FBI Director (2006-07); Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C. (2001-07); and Counsel to Attorney General Reno (1998-2001).

Gupta has served as the President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights since 2017.  From October 2014 to January 2017, she served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Civil Rights Division. At the Civil Rights Division, she oversaw the investigation of the Chicago Police Department as well as investigations of the Ferguson and Baltimore police departments; she also oversaw DOJ’s efforts defending civil rights and voting rights.  Prior to joining DOJ, she worked at the ACLU from 2006-2014, where she created and led the ACLU’s Smart Justice Campaign aimed at ending mass incarceration.  Gupta would be the first civil rights attorney and first woman of color to serve as Associate Attorney General.  


-30-