After the Senate Judiciary Committee was tied on whether to advance Vanita Gupta's nomination as Associate Attorney General last month, Senate Democrats have begun the process to advance Gupta's nomination to the floor despite remaining questions about her record in several key areas including her position on defunding the police and her relationship with the drug company Aventor. Senator Cornyn has warned that she may be the Biden Administration's "most dangerous" nominee to the Department of Justice.
Vanita Gupta’s agenda poses a serious threat to the safety of American families and communities, yet @ChuckSchumer is moving forward anyway.— Senate Republicans (@NRSC) April 16, 2021
Will @SenateDems vote to confirm this radical nominee or will they do their jobs to protect American families? https://t.co/js9zN5lIcm
On Wednesday, five Republican Senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to open an investigation into Avantor, a drug company that the letter alleges has an "apparent longstanding contribution to the opioid epidemic." As Carrie Severino explains, the letter raises concerns over whether Gupta's nomination should move forward:
The senators’ letter has significant implications for Vanita Gupta’s nomination to be associate attorney general. At her Senate confirmation hearing last month, Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee grilled Gupta on her massive stake in Avantor, as well as her prior advocacy in support of the decriminalization of “possession of all drugs.” Gupta was unable to muster a majority vote at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of her nomination.
Five Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee are urging a federal investigation into Avantor for its "troubling connection" with the opioid epidemic.— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) April 15, 2021
Vanita Gupta owns tens of millions of dollars of Avantor stock. https://t.co/fKDxds8B01
During a floor speech on Thursday, Senator Marsha Blackburn highlighted Gupta's deflection of past comments about decriminalizing drugs and defunding the police.
Vanita Gupta cannot make up her mind on top issues affecting American communities. Even the @washingtonpost rated her “upside down Pinocchio”.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 16, 2021
How can we trust her as Associate Attorney General? What will she change her mind on next? pic.twitter.com/V20RT0dgfo
As Senator Cruz noted, Senate Judiciary's rules were violated when Gupta's nomination was pushed through the committee. They even cut off Senator Cotton in the middle of his remarks.
CONFIRMATIONS: In Senate floor remarks on Thursday, Sen. @TedCruz accused Democrats of an "abuse of power" for breaking Judiciary Committee rules to move forward the nomination of Vanita Gupta, President Biden's nominee for Associate Attorney General. pic.twitter.com/BQuqWyGuHm— Forbes (@Forbes) April 16, 2021
The confirmation process for Gupta should not continue until remaining questions about her record are answered.