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Durbin: Monaco and Gupta Can Ensure DOJ is Ready to Respond to Threats Facing America

Lisa Monaco is Nominee for Deputy Attorney General; Vanita Gupta is Nominee for Associate Attorney General

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered his opening statement during the nominations hearing for Lisa Monaco to be U.S. Deputy Attorney General, and Vanita Gupta to be U.S. Associate Attorney General. In it, Durbin argued that Monaco and Gupta are the experienced and dedicated leaders we need to restore integrity and independence to the Department of Justice.

Key quotes:

“Our nation faces challenging security threats, both here and abroad, and we know from the morning headlines out of Minnesota, that we are also as a nation confronting important questions about race and inequality in our society. The public must have the assurance that the Justice Department is ready to respond to the threats facing us and is dedicated to ensuring equal justice under law. I believe these nominees can meet that challenge.”

“Simply put, Lisa Monaco may be the most qualified individual ever nominated to serve as Deputy Attorney General. As President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, she coordinated the federal government’s response to a wide variety of security risks, including natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist attacks, and cyber threats.”

“Vanita Gupta is well-qualified to be Associate Attorney General. She would also be the first civil rights lawyer and the first woman of color in our nation’s history to serve in this position.”

“Ms. Gupta’s nomination has received the support of virtually every major law enforcement organization in the country. Consider just a few of their statements of support… The President of the National Sheriffs’ Association wrote ‘I strongly believe that Ms. Gupta is exactly the type of leader who is needed in the Justice Department today. She possesses immense credibility among law enforcement leaders and community leaders. She is an effective communicator, and a bridge-builder.’”

“It is the height of irony that anyone would criticize this well-qualified Justice Department veteran [Vanita Gupta] after we sat by silently while there was no Senate-confirmed Associate Attorney General for nearly three years during the Trump Administration - an unprecedented leadership vacuum.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.