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Durbin Questions Lisa Monaco and Vanita Gupta on Domestic Terrorism and Supporting Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today chaired the nomination hearing for Lisa Monaco to be U.S. Deputy Attorney General and Vanita Gupta to be U.S. Associate Attorney General. Durbin asked Monaco to discuss the rising threat of white supremacy and domestic terrorism.

“If you take a look at the course of American history, the Ku Klux Klan seems to appear and reappear about every 50 years. 1865, 1910 to 1915, then again in the '50s, and here they come again in a different form with different names, but the same basic agenda. Christopher Wray from the FBI testified the other day that he believed, as I do, that this is a serious threat.  As much as we need to concentrate on what's happening across the ocean, in America today if we want security in our neighborhoods and towns, we need to concentrate on what's happening across the street. The Department of Justice plays a critical role in that regard. Would you comment on that?” Durbin said.

Monaco answered by stating she agrees with FBI Director Wray that the domestic terrorism threat is “metastasizing” across the country. Monaco pledged that if confirmed, she would get briefed on the investigation of the attack at the Capitol on January 6, work to understand what is mobilizing people to violence, and determine how the Department of Justice can deploy all of the tools and resources to ensure something like January 6 never happens again.

Durbin then asked Vanita Gupta about right-wing claims that she supports defunding the police. Gupta answered by stating she does not support defunding the police and has spent her career frequently advocating for greater resources for law enforcement, such as body worn cameras and officer wellness and safety programs. Gupta also said that if confirmed, she would continue to listen to the voices of law enforcement and advocates for resources they need to keep our communities safe and maintain the trust of the communities that they serve.

Video of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here for TV Stations.