July 10, 2018

Feinstein Statement on Benczkowski Nomination

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the nomination Brian Benczkowski to lead the Justice Department’s Criminal Division:

“Brian Benczkowski has been nominated to head the Criminal Division at the Justice Department despite having never tried a criminal case. The head of the Criminal Division is one of the most important positions in upholding the rule of law and the decision to appoint someone with no prosecutorial experience raises the question: Why was Mr. Benczkowski nominated?

“Mr. Benczkowski’s nomination also presents glaring conflicts of interest with regard to the Mueller investigation. He worked on the Trump transition team and admitted to discussing the possible firing of former FBI Director Comey with Attorney General Sessions. He also represented Alfa Bank, which has close ties to Vladimir Putin and has been investigated for connections to the Trump Organization, while actively seeking a position at the Justice Department. This demonstrates incredibly poor judgment in my view.

“Despite repeated requests from Judiciary Committee Democrats that he recuse himself from any matters involving the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign, Benczkowski has refused to commit. In addition, Benczkowski’s close ties to Attorney General Sessions raise serious questions as to whether he would serve as a backdoor allowing the Attorney General to see into the investigation.

“Benczkowki is simply not qualified to lead the Criminal Division and could potentially undermine the Mueller investigation. The Senate should reject this nomination.”

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