01.28.15

AG Nominee Lynch: “I will fulfill my responsibilities with integrity and independence”

Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Nominee to Lead Department of Justice

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, January 28, 2015) – During this morning’s session of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, Lynch spoke about her experience as a career prosecutor and said she will address a range of challenges as Attorney General. 

“If confirmed to be Attorney General of the United States, I pledge to all of you and to the American people that I will fulfill my responsibilities with integrity and independence,” Lynch said in her opening statement.  “I will never forget that I serve the American people, from all walks of life, who continue to make our nation great – as well as the legacy of all those whose sacrifices have made us free. And I will always strive to uphold the trust that has been placed in me to protect and defend our Constitution, to safeguard our people, and to stand as the leader and public servant that they deserve.”

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s ranking member, urged all Senators to focus on Lynch’s credentials to serve as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, noting her extensive record as a prosecutor.

“The President’s selection for Attorney General—no matter the President—deserves to be considered swiftly, fairly, and on her own record.  I am confident that if we stay focused on Ms. Lynch’s impeccable qualifications and fierce independence, she will be quickly confirmed by the Senate,” Leahy said in his opening statement.  

Lynch currently serves as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a position to which she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in April 2010.  She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to the same position in 2000.  As the top federal prosecutor based in Brooklyn, New York, she manages an office that has prosecuted some of the most significant cases in the nation.  Her nomination to be Attorney General has broad support from law enforcement, fellow prosecutors, civil rights groups, and legal practitioners.

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Loretta Lynch Has an Extraordinary Record as a Prosecutor

“If I'm confirmed to be attorney general, I will be myself. I will be Loretta Lynch."

  • Keeping Americans safe from terrorist attacks.  During her tenure as U.S. Attorney, the Eastern District of New York has had a significant number of successful terrorism prosecutions, including several notable cases.  [Human Rights First, Fact Sheet: Federal Courts Continue to Take Lead in Counterterrorism Prosecutions, 12/31/2011.]
  • Bill O’Reilly praised her as a “hero” for bringing federal charges against a child rapist.  Lynch brought federal charges against a child rapist who only received a sentence of two years in state court.  Bill O’Reilly called her a “hero” and said she “should be respected by all Americans for standing up to a gross injustice.”  [Bill O’Reilly, Loretta Lynch Is A Hero, Protecting Kids, O’Reilly Factor, 7/27/2012 ].
  • Pursuing and convicting sex traffickers.  Under Lynch’s leadership, the EDNY has been active in pursuing prosecutions of sex traffickers, including securing convictions of those who illegally trafficked minor girls from Mexico into the United States, held them against their will with violence, and forced them into commercial sex acts in captivity.  [U.S. v. Lopez-Perez, et al., 11-CR-199 (CBA) (E.D.N.Y. 2014)].
  • Obtained historic settlements with Citigroup and Bank of America for mortgage fraud.  Under Lynch’s leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the EDNY partnered with the Department of Justice to secure historic settlements with Citigroup and Bank of America for mortgage fraud and other financial practices that contributed to the 2008 national financial crisis.  This included a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America and a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup.  The $16.65 billion settlement was the largest civil settlement with a single entity in American history[Dep’t of Justice Press Release, Bank of America to Pay $16.65 Billion in Historic Justice Department Settlement for Financial Fraud Leading up to and During the Financial Crisis, 8/14/2015].
  • Prosecuting police officers who sodomized Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.  In the late 1990s, Loretta Lynch led the prosecution of police officers who brutally beat and sodomized Haitian immigrant Abner Louima after mistaking him for another man who had assaulted a police officer outside a Brooklyn nightclub.  The officer who sodomized Mr. Louima received a 30-year sentence, while another officer was convicted of perjury and sentenced to five years in prison.  [Sewell Chan, “The Abner Louima Case, 10 Years Later,” NY Times, 8/9/2007.]

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