Rep. Johnson praises U.S. AG Lynch

July 12, 2016

Rep. Hank Johnson, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee Regulatory Reform and Commercial Antitrust Law (RRCAL), gave the following speech during a full Judiciary hearing with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. 

I find it both unsurprising and absurd that we are spending our valuable time talking about Hillary Clinton’s email and former President Bill Clinton – who I may remind you is not under investigation – while our country and our cities is facing its greatest challenge in racial politics. 

When we look back on this decade, I am confident when I say it will be viewed as this generation’s 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. And no, this is not about those who want guns and those who want to control them. I represent people from the great state of Georgia, so I appreciate the value of gun ownership. 

No, this is about a basic respect for human dignity and valuing the lives of all our citizens, not just a select few when it suits us. This is about recognizing when special interests cannot trump our right to live safely and peacefully. This is about ensuring the safety of our citizens so that they may protest peaceably and without fear from the authorities or from their fellow citizens. 

The fact the NRA did not comment on the death of Philando Castro and rush to his defense, despite the clear impingement on his right to legally carry a fire arm, is a chilling reminder of what they actually mean for gun owners’ rights for all. The fact that a family cannot hold a vigil in Baltimore to mourn their murdered loved one without being gunned down is a reminder that we need to protect the most vulnerable of our communities. The fact that we cannot peacefully gather, whether it is to protest in Dallas or to enjoy a summer night on the town in Orlando, without ducking for cover as terror is wielded at the hands of a lone gunman is a reminder that perhaps we have lost our way. 

We are on the cusp of a grassroots movement that is shaking the foundations of this Capitol and yet, we are wasting our time and the valuable time of the Nation’s leading law enforcement official to discuss emails. Unclassified emails at that. 

Attorney General Lynch, I thank you for taking the time to testify in front of us once again. I would like to shift the conversation away from Hillary, Bill, and the emails and move to more substantive issues such as whether we have found any evidence the Orlando gunman used encrypted messages to prepare for his attack?


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