UPDATED 12:40 PM PT – Thursday, April 15, 2021
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) fired back at Justice Department nominee Kristen Clarke after she denied being anti-police. At her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, the Republican grilled Clarke on her June op-ed titled: “I Prosecuted Police Killings. Defund the Police, but Be Strategic.”
Cruz said the article begins by claiming last summer’s left-wing riots “opened up the space for transformative policy discussion” and “surged a unifying call for the Black Lives Matter movement.” Clarke attempted to dance around the question, but Cruz asserted these were her words.
“Do you really believe ‘defund the police’ is a unifying call?” Cruz questioned.
“I don’t support defund the police,” Clarke claimed in response.
“I’m reading from your article, do you disagree with your article?” the Texas senator pressed.
“Amidst the demonstrations and protests, I wanted to provide a different perspective,” Clarke responded.
Cruz added, it was “astonishing” for Clarke to deny this while under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
WATCH: Sen. Ted Cruz to Kristen Clarke, Biden’s pick for Asst AG for Civil Rights: “You just said you don’t support cutting funds from police. I find that astonishing & … not credible … 3 paragraphs in your article, you begin with the words ‘We must invest less in police.'” pic.twitter.com/w7QlpkSNCF
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 14, 2021
“You say you don’t support defunding the police, you said it twice,” Cruz noted. “But the title of your article is: ‘Defund the police.’ So you believe you were wrong last year when you called for defunding police and investing less in police?”
“It’s a poor title chosen by the editor,” Clarke alleged.
“It’s not just the title, it’s your text: ‘We must invest less in police.’ Three paragraphs should agree with those words. Do you agree with them today?”
“Without the power of the purse string, I wrote those words,” Clarke stated.
Cruz said her remarks were simply false. He also pointed out how Clarke’s article blatantly called on the U.S. to take money from police departments and redistribute those funds to other government services, such as social support in schools.
“Three paragraphs in your article, you begin with the words: We must invest less in police,” Cruz said. “And you just told this committee under oath [that] you don’t support investing less in police. How do you square those?”
“If I may, senator,” Clarke said. “I support the fact that [Joe Biden] is committing 300 million new dollars for the cops’ program.”
The so-called “Biden Plan for Strengthening America’s Commitment to Justice‘ has claimed it will “eliminate the death penalty, reduce the number of people incarcerated and double the amount of social workers in schools.” Not to mention, it will also “eliminate mandatory minimums, throw out solitary confinement in most cases and re-focus the entire criminal justice system on redemption instead of consequences.”
Furthermore, federal funds would apparently be contingent upon the willingness of police departments to comply with the plan.
As for the Texas senator’s final argument against Clarke, Cruz pointed to her alleged history of celebrating the murders of police officers. He cited a report, which detailed her efforts as an undergrad at Columbia Law School to organize a conference with a panel of speakers who praised a police officer killer by calling him a “political prisoner.”
Sen. Ted Cruz to Biden pick Kristen Clarke: “If there is a police officer in Philadelphia or New Jersey … watching this hearing, how are they supposed to react to your nomination… knowing that as a student you participated in a conference celebrating & lionizing cop killers?” pic.twitter.com/HcdN7XVMCZ
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 15, 2021
Moments before he was interrupted, Cruz questioned: “How police officers should feel if Congress allowed Kristen Clarke to take on one of the most senior positions in the DOJ, despite ‘knowing that as a student, she participated in a conference celebrating and lionizing cop killers?’”