“I believe in the importance of building a consensus to get things done,” she said. “While I’ve been a lifelong, idealistic civil rights lawyer, I am a deeply pragmatic person.”

She also faced several questions about the Justice Department’s practice of transferring funds from large case settlements to third parties, including groups that provide social services or other aid.

Republicans have written legislation to stop what they call “slush fund” payments to such third parties, many of which are left-leaning. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions essentially banned the practice.

Ms. Gupta said she would comply with the department’s existing policy. But Judge Merrick B. Garland, Mr. Biden’s nominee for attorney general, could reverse it.

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