Senate Democrat Interrupts Heritage Expert’s Testimony at Chicago Gun Violence Hearing

HERITAGE IMPACT

Senate Democrat Interrupts Heritage Expert’s Testimony at Chicago Gun Violence Hearing

December 17th, 2021

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., held a committee hearing Dec. 13, to discuss the gun trafficking and rising violence in Chicago. But when the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat didn’t like the message of one witness, he cut her off midsentence.

That witness was Amy Swearer, a legal fellow in Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. She was asked to testify at the Chicago field hearing alongside other experts and law-enforcement officials.

As Swearer was giving her opening remarks, Durbin interrupted her.

“Ms. Swearer, I read your testimony,” Durbin interjected. “And I believe in all fairness, since we did not invite Cook County State’s Attorney's office … that you shouldn’t really zero in on any particular individual.”

Swearer was about to share a story demonstrating how rogue prosecutorial practices in Chicago have led to more gun violence. Kim Foxx, the Cook County state’s attorney, was the first George Soros-backed prosecutor to win an election. Her “progressive” agenda has led to surge in violence.

Swearer responded: “Senator, I do in fact respect that this is something that we’re looking at from a federal level. However, when we’re talking about what is actually happening in Chicago … we need to look at how do things like not charging five individuals who shot up a residential neighborhood on a Friday, none of which were charged and were released on Monday. How does that impact the feeling of confidence? How does that build trust with the community? I think that is a valid thing to consider. … A lot of criminal justice and how we enforce the law is done at a local level. These things matter.”

Social media erupted at Durbin’s behavior and national media took notice. Heritage’s tweet, featuring a video of Swearer’s appearance, has more than 200,000 views.

Swearer later appeared on “Fox & Friends First” and other national news programs.

“It’s infuriating,” Swearer told Fox News. “If this is not the time, place, and manner to talk about some of these underlying problems in Chicago, when is?”


Fox News’ “Faulkner Focus” and “Hold the Line with Buck Sexton also aired the clip of Durbin cutting off Swearer during her opening statement.

Swearer’s testimony is available here.You can read her commentary about the incident here.