GOP senators grill Biden DOJ pick Vanita Gupta over attacks on GOP

Vanita Gupta spoke during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine her nomination to be Associate Attorney General, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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UPDATED 7:20 PM PT – Sunday, March 14, 2021

Civil rights attorney Vanita Gupta is facing immense scrutiny from Republican senators over her apparent partisan career.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing to consider Gupta’s nomination for associate U.S. attorney general, the number three spot in the Department of Justice.

GOP committee members grilled Gupta over her progressive stances on several issues, including defunding police departments and trust-busting Big Tech companies.

They also wanted her to clarify her vitriolic rhetoric to Republican lawmakers and judges appointed by President Trump.

“She called the confirmation of now Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett ‘illegitimate.’ She called Judge Kavanaugh a ‘privileged lifelong partisan,’” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) stated.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, speaks during hearing for Vanita Gupta, nominated to be Associate Attorney General, and Lisa Monaco nominated to be Deputy Attorney General, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley of Iowa spoke during hearing for Vanita Gupta on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republicans also took issue with Gupta’s seemingly flip-floppy stances on certain issues. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) highlighted her previous position of decriminalizing all drugs, and her reversal leading up to her confirmation hearing.

Additionally, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called out Gupta for saying she opposes defund the police rhetoric, despite advocating for it to Congress last year.

“Chairman Durbin asked you about abolishing the police and you said I do not support defunding the police, which is clearly the right political answer seeking to get confirmed,” Cruz said. “I would note that just a few months ago, last year in written correspondence with the Senate of the United States, you encouraged Congress to ‘reexamine federal spending priorities and shrink the footprint of the police and criminal legal system in this country.’”

However, Gupta said many changes in her policy stances came from working for the DOJ during the Obama administration. She claimed if confirmed, she would work hard to reach across the aisle and employ staffers with different political opinions.

In the meantime, the Senate Judiciary Committee has to vote to move forward Gupta’s nomination before the full Senate has a chance to confirm her nomination.

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