Associate attorney general nominee Vanita Gupta, who has called for the decriminalization of all drugs in the past, reportedly owns tens of millions of dollars of stock in a company that has been accused of “fueling” Mexican drug cartels’ heroin production.
“According to an August 2020 Bloomberg report, American company Avantor sold acetic anhydride to cartels that used it to make high-grade ‘china white’ heroin and methamphetamine,” Fox Business reported. “Biden’s pick for associate attorney general, Vanita Gupta, owns between $11 million and $55 million in the company’s stock, according to her financial disclosure form as reported by ABC News.”
Following Bloomberg News’ report, Avantor stopped all sales of the product in Mexico. “Due to the potential for misuse of acetic anhydride outside of the regulated supply chain, the company has recently chosen to stop all sales of the product in Mexico,” Avantor said. “We have properly discarded all inventory of acetic anhydride in Mexico.”
Neither of the reports accused Avantor of knowingly selling products to cartels and the company says that all of its sales of the product are to entities that are registered with Mexico’s health regulator. Gupta’s father, Raj Gupta, is the chairman of the board of Avantor.
Gupta has previously expressed support for decriminalizing “all drugs” in small amounts, a position that she claims that she now no longer supports. Gupta, as the ACLU’s deputy legal director, wrote in 2012 that “states should decriminalize simple possession of all drugs, particularly marijuana, and for small amounts of other drugs.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has focused his attention on trying to derail Gupta’s confirmation to the Department of Justice, where she would serve as the No. 3 official in the department.
“Vanita Gupta, President Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General, would make America less safe. She must be stopped,” Cotton wrote on Twitter. “More than 83k Americans died from drug overdoses last year, but Gupta wants to ‘decriminalize’ possession of ALL drugs, even fentanyl. Opioids are already ravaging our communities—we shouldn’t give fentanyl, heroin, or cocaine dealers get-out-of-jail-free cards.”
“As recently as last summer, Vanita Gupta called to defund the police,” Cotton continued. “Her allies in the jailbreak industry—who are clamoring for access to the Biden DOJ—are now trying to deny what she said. But see for yourself where Vanita Gupta stands on defunding the police.”
Cotton included a statement that Gupta made to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary last summer on the use of police force, a hearing that took place as left-wing riots ravaged inner cities across the U.S. in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
While front-end systems changes are important, it is also critical for state and local leaders to heed calls from Black Lives Matter and Movement for Black Lives activists to decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives.
“No wonder Soros prosecutors like Chesa Boudin in San Francisco have endorsed Gupta. Gupta would promote their pro-crime agenda,” Cotton added. “Soros prosecutors caused a massive spike in crime in major cities across the country by refusing to prosecute criminals. Why would we trust their judgment for the Department of Justice? The Senate should be suspicious of anyone they endorse.”
In a fact-check on claims by Gupta during her Senate confirmation hearing, The Washington Post awarded her an Upside-Down Pinocchio for multiple flip-flops. In addition to claiming she no longer supports legalizing “all drugs,” the Post notes:
Gupta also claimed to have no view on qualified immunity, despite having pushed lawmakers to end it only months ago, when she described it as an abomination.
She reversed herself on defunding the police. In July, Gupta testified before the same Senate committee that state and local governments should “decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives” and shift resources “toward investments in economic opportunity, education, health care, and other public benefits.”
The Biden team says it was another issue she did not really believe in; she was merely communicating the consensus views of her coalition. Well, what did she believe in then? What does she believe in now? And how are observers supposed to tell the difference? For this tango of previously unacknowledged flip-flops, Gupta earns an Upside-Down Pinocchio.