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Manchin signals he’ll support Gupta as No. 3 at DOJ, bolstering her chance at confirmation

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With Manchin’s expected support, Gupta would have at least 50 votes to secure his confirmation unless an unexpected democratic opposition emerges. Republicans have generally attacked his past opinions and tweets and characterized him as out of the mainstream, a sign that most, if not all, of them are likely to vote against his appointment as prosecutor. general associated with the uniformly divided chamber. .

But the West Virginia Democrat told CNN he is likely to support his nomination because of the high marks given to him by the new Attorney General of the Biden administration. Merrick Garland.

“I’ve talked to Merrick Garland, and he’s very kind to her. And I have all the respect in the world in his decision-making,” Manchin said. “I will be leaning towards your support.”

Manchin’s likely support underscores the unique power he has in the Senate veto effectively President Joe Biden’s agenda on issues they discuss on the party line, a position for which he has previously expressed frustration. “It’s not good. It’s not a good place to be,” he told CNN last week.

At his confirmation hearing, Gupta lamented his past statements.

“I regret the harsh rhetoric I have used at times in recent years,” he said. “Today I can promise you that if it is confirmed to me, you will not hear this kind of rhetoric.”

Illinois Democrat Justice President Dick Durbin told CNN that “it’s possible” that Gupta’s candidacy could be brought forward from his committee before the Easter break begins later this week. it comes.

However, Manchin is undecided with two other candidates: Vivek Murthy, for being a general surgeon – whom he opposed for the job of President Barack Obama – and Colin Kahl, Biden’s election as head of Pentagon policy.

“We’re still looking at it,” Manchin said of Kahl, who has sparked Republican Party opposition for his past tweets.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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