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Washington, D.C.-- Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced Makan Delrahim, the President’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division at a confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Makan previously served as Chief Counsel and Staff Director when Senator Hatch chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“With my more than 40 years of experience serving on this committee, I have worked closely with some of the most brilliant legal minds this nation has to offer,” Hatch said. “But among them, Makan stands apart.  During the several years Makan served as my Chief Counsel and Committee Staff Director, he distinguished himself as an able manager, a trusted confidante, and a sharp policy mind.  He executed the duties of his position beautifully and, to this day, remains among the most talented Chief Counsels I have ever hired.”

Hatch’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below: 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing today.

Due to committee conflicts this morning, I regret that I will need to excuse myself following my remarks.  But I may have some questions for the nominees that I will submit to the record.

That said, it is my great privilege today to introduce to the committee my friend and former Chief Counsel, Makan Delrahim, who is President Trump’s nominee to become Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Given Makan’s extensive background in both policy and intellectual property law, the President could not have picked a more qualified nominee for this important post. 

With my more than 40 years of experience serving on this committee, I have worked closely with some of the most brilliant legal minds this nation has to offer. But among them, Makan stands apart.  During the several years Makan served as my Chief Counsel and Committee Staff Director, he distinguished himself as an able manager, a trusted confidante, and a sharp policy mind.  He executed the duties of his position beautifully and, to this day, remains among the most talented Chief Counsels I have ever hired.

The White House took notice of Makan’s talents, and in 2003, President Bush asked him to serve as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of international, policy, and appellate matters in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. Having already served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, he is exceptionally well prepared to serve as the division’s Assistant Attorney General today.

While at the Department of Justice, Makan also served as a member of the U.S. Attorney General’s Task Force on Intellectual Property, where he acted as the agency’s point person on international antitrust issues. Makan also oversaw the Antitrust Division’s appellate litigation and policy development. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he played key roles in the agency’s enforcement and policy development on emerging issues at the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property. 

As remarkable as Makan’s professional life is his personal history.  Makan immigrated to the United States from Iran when he was just nine years old.  He moved with his family to Los Angeles after the Shah of Iran was deposed. Makan’s success story is the American Dream.

Makan displayed brilliance from an early age and was soon accepted to UCLA.  After graduating, he went on to earn a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins and a law degree from George Washington University Law School.  From there, he embarked on an exceptional career, in which he distinguished himself as a trusted advisor to lawmakers and Presidents alike.  In addition to being well respected by people on both sides of the political spectrum, Makan is widely regarded as a national expert on antitrust and intellectual property issues.

On April 24th, the Chairman and Ranking Member of this committee received a letter signed by 12 former Antitrust Assistant Attorneys General—a group composed of both Republicans and Democrats. In their letter, they sung Makan’s praises, stating:“[We] do not always agree on all matters related to antitrust enforcement, but we do agree on this.  Mr. Delrahim has the experience, intelligence, judgment, and leadership skills necessary to serve as an excellent Assistant Attorney General.”   

Additionally, on April 21st, a letter was sent by 11 of the former Commissioners of the Antitrust Modernization Commission, of which Makan was a Commissioner.  In their letter, the Commissioners expressed their unfettered support for Makan to be the next Antitrust Assistant Attorney General by saying, “we can attest to his integrity, professional work ethic and exemplary character.”

Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that these two letters be placed in the record.

Despite his many professional accomplishments, Makan remains a thoughtful, kind, and humble man.  I applaud the President for nominating such a tremendous individual for such an important job, and I hope this committee will promptly report his nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.

At this time, I also wish to welcome Mr. Noel Francisco, who has been nominated to be Solicitor General of the United States. In addition, I would like to welcome Mr. Steven Engel, the President’s nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.  Both of you have had distinguished legal careers and are highly qualified for the positions to which you have been nominated. We look forward to hearing from you today.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.