Loretta Lynch Coolly Answering Tough Questions At Her Confirmation Hearing Just Proved How Badass She Is
President Obama knew what he was doing when he nominated prosecutor Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general. Tuesday was the first day of Lynch's confirmation hearing, and Lynch faced an onslaught of challenging questions from Republican senators. But if her answers during the session are any indication, she'll make one tough-as-nails attorney general.
When Obama first nominated her in November, he had nothing but confidence in her abilities, saying at the ceremony:
But she also has a distinct advantage over most prospective candidates.
So when she stepped into the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which was a veritable lions' den, on Wednesday, she was wholly undaunted by even the toughest questions the GOP had prepared for her. In her opening remarks, she highlighted the need to mend a fraught relationship between the Department of Justice and the new GOP-controlled Congress, saying:
If she's confirmed as the next U.S. attorney general, Lynch stated she would focus on rebuilding the relationship between the public and law enforcement, investigating and prosecuting terrorists, and protecting the country against cyberattacks.
Republicans, however, were not convinced. They kicked off the hearing by presenting the current situation with the DOJ, which Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called "deeply politicized." Grassley remarked:
Grassley is referring to Attorney General Eric Holder's April 2013 comment that he was Obama's "wingman" as a way to criticize the overlapping of the White House and the DOJ when Holder headed the department. Holder, who frequently butted heads with Republicans, became the first AG and cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. Hence the GOP's emphasis on Lynch proving she can set herself apart.
Then Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, launched a series of questions at Lynch that was meant to shake her. They didn't.
Cornyn began with:
Cornyn then summed up the GOP's biggest concern over the AG's role:
Cornyn asked Lynch to emphasize how she would be different from Holder. She replied:
Boom. That is what you'd call a microphone-drop moment right there.Images: Getty Images (4)