Old social media posts by Indian-American Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden's nominee to a senior post at the US Justice Department, came under scrutiny at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Gupta expressed regret for using "harsh rhetoric" in past years on Twitter as she faced the Senate Judiciary Committee.
46-year-old Gupta has been nominated to serve as the Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice.
"I regret the harsh rhetoric that I have used at times in the last several years. I can pledge to you today that if I am confirmed, you won't be hearing that kind of rhetoric for me," Gupta told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Gupta also told lawmakers that it will be the honour of her lifetime to assume the Associate Attorney General's responsibility to oversee the enforcement of laws to protect the health, safety, and economic security of all Americans.
"My parents are proud immigrants from India, and they believe more than anything in the promise of America. Growing up, they taught me that loving this country brings with it the obligation to do the necessary work to perfect our union. That belief is shared by my husband, whose family fled violence and war in Vietnam and sought refuge on these great shores," Gupta said.
Committee ranking member, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley expressed concerns about whether Gupta was fit to fill such a crucial Justice Department position given her past comments about Republicans but added that she had done "admirable" work in the past.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz also accused her of being an extreme partisan advocate.
If confirmed, Gupta would be the first woman of colour to be the associate attorney general.
Gupta is the second Indian-American to come under scrutiny for social media comments. Last week, Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, after the Biden administration was unable to ensure enough votes in the Senate for her confirmation.