Senator Cornyn

Cornyn: Partisan Activist Gupta Unfit for DOJ Role

April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed Vanita Gupta’s nomination to be Associate Attorney General ahead of the Senate’s vote to discharge her nomination out of the Judiciary Committee, where she failed to garner any Republican support. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“The passionate opposition to this nominee is not about politics. I voted to confirm the vast majority of President Biden’s nominees.”

“The opposition to Ms. Gupta is a direct result of her history of inflammatory public statements, radical policy positions, and a laundry list of misleading statements and flat out lies during her sworn testimony before the Judiciary Committee.”

“The American people deserve to know that the individuals leading the Department have no agenda other than to fairly and impartially administer justice. But based on everything we now know about Ms. Gupta, I do not have faith in her ability to deliver on this most basic principle.”

“Ms. Gupta is not a career public servant. She is a partisan culture warrior with a radical agenda. During her tenure in jobs outside of government, during which she was a registered lobbyist, Ms. Gupta was quite outspoken about her views on just about every topic you can imagine.”

“She slandered Supreme Court nominees. She vilified organizations she disagreed with. She even took a crack or two at a number of our Senate colleagues. But the words I find most troubling are those that relate directly to the policies of the Department of Justice itself.”

“Back in 2012, Ms. Gupta authored an opinion piece on November 4, 2012, in the Huff Post. In that article, she argued that the states should decriminalize possession of all drugs. All drugs – not just marijuana – all drugs, presumably, to include prescription opioids, heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, you name it. All drugs.”

“I asked Ms. Gupta if she ever made this statement that is printed in black and white in the Huff Post dated circa 2012. She said, ‘I have never, never advocated for the decriminalization of all drugs.’”

“She lied to every member of the Judiciary Committee and unfortunately, she’s lying to the Senate. She’s been given many opportunities to reconcile these radically conflicting statements. These are diametrically opposed positions. If she had a good answer, if she cared enough, if she respected members of the Senate enough, she would have provided us an answer rather than just an outright lie.”

“Can we really expect someone with this track record, this history, to live up to the highest ideals of the Justice Department?”

“Do we really expect someone who appears willing to lie with such disregard for the truth to disclose exculpatory material that a person sued by the Department of Justice would have a right to, or would she just try to sit on it? Can we really expect her to hire people around her based on merit as opposed to some political litmus test? Can we really expect her to disclose material information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or encourage folks under her supervision to be meticulous and forthright with the Court when seeking warrants? I don’t think so.”

“Given the incredible power of the Department of Justice and all the tools available to it, Ms. Gupta’s radical beliefs and agenda that she believes insincerely, apparently, these would be – her views – would be terribly dangerous to the American people.”

“Based on her track record, I have no confidence in her ability to act with fairness, candor or integrity.”