- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee urged his colleagues to remain focused on the credentials of the president’s nominee to be the next Attorney General.

“She is the nomination for attorney general and that is why I’m focusing on her,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

Mr. Leahy’s comments came in apparent response to Republican focus on controversies at the DOJ including the ATF gunwalking scandal and defense of the president’s immigration policies.

Ms. Lynch will “lead the Justice Department to face these complex challenges,” Mr. Leahy said, and said the confirmation hearing should remain focused on her and not outside issues.

“Her credentials are beyond reproach,” Mr. Leahy said. “She’s fought tirelessly against violent crime and financial fraud…She’s prosecuted those who have committed crimes against police officers, as well as police officers who have committed crimes.”

The daughter of a Baptist preacher and school librarian, Mr. Leahy said that Ms. Lynch represents the American dream.

Despite growing up in the Jim Crow south, “she never lost faith that the way to obtain justice is through our justice system,” Mr. Leahy said.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer introduced Ms. Lynch, and also called for the committee to focus only on her record as a prosecutor.

“The president’s immigration policies are not seeking confirmation today. Loretta Lynch is,” he said.

• Phillip Swarts can be reached at pswarts@washingtontimes.com.

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