President Biden’s campaign promised to hold companies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis when he ran for office, but now one of his Justice Department nominees has ties to a company whose product was allegedly sold to Mexican drug cartels.

According to a Bloomberg report from August 2020, the American company Avantor sold acetic anhydride to cartels for use in the production of high-grade “china white” heroin and methamphetamine. Vanita Gupta, Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general, owns between $11 million and $55 million in the company’s stock, according to her financial disclosure reported by ABC News.

 

According to Biden’s campaign website, if elected, he will “[d]irect the U.S. Justice Department to make actions that spurred this crisis a top investigative and, where appropriate, civil and criminal enforcement priority.”

Avantor reportedly stopped selling acetic anhydride in Mexico after Bloomberg’s report, as the country’s authorities announced a criminal investigation.

Raj Gupta, Gupta’s father, is the chairman of Avantor’s board of directors. Vanita Gupta has agreed not to participate in any matters involving companies in which her family owns stock or in which her father is a senior executive.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled Gupta on gun rights, abortion, and religious liberty during her nomination hearing on March 9, as to her previously expressed views on these topics. Gupta evaded questions about her own views on every issue, saying she would only apply the law of the land, according to Joel B Pollak from Breitbart News.

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