Home U.S Top DOJ nominees vow independence; Vanita Gupta opposes moves to defund the...

Top DOJ nominees vow independence; Vanita Gupta opposes moves to defund the police

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Vanita Gupta, a former Justice Department official focusing on civil rights, is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The organization is among many leveraging its resources to help Americans, especially Black and other people of color, navigate a voting system that can be discouraging.

Two top Justice Department nominees vowed Tuesday to safeguard the agency from the influence of partisan politics and confront the mounting threat posed by domestic extremists laid bare by the deadly assault on the Capitol.

At their joint confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, deputy attorney general nominee Lisa Monaco and associate attorney general pick Vanita Gupta – slated to fill the second and third-ranking posts at the department – called for re-claiming the department’s independence as its “North Star.”

“The Justice Department is at an inflection point,” Monaco told lawmakers. “Never has the department’s role in protecting our national security and the safety of the American people been more important… Our response to the shocking events of January 6th, an attack that cut to our country’s core, and I know so personally affected many in this room, is nothing less than the defense of our democracy.”

Confirmation hearing:Merrick Garland promises no political interference

Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

Monaco, who once served as chief of Justice’s National Security Division, cast the domestic extremist threat as “metastasizing across the country” and pledged to determine what is “mobilizing people to violence.”

‘I do not support defunding police’

Gupta, who has faced a drumbeat from conservative groups who have branded her as an opponent of law enforcement, quickly sought to counter that criticism while expressing regret for “harsh” social media commentary directed at the Trump administration.

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