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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

AG Battle Kicks Off

 Sen. Patrick Leahy made it perfectly clear on Monday (at least I thought so), that Michael Mukasey's chances of replacing Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States would improve significantly if the Bush White House stopped withholding subpoenaed documents related to its illegal domestic surveillance program, as well as to its removal of nine federal prosecutors for apparently political reasons.

On Tuesday, just before dinner, Rob Roper, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, issued the following statement:

Rob_roper_gop Judge Mukasey deserves a swift and fair confirmation process. It is unfortunate that Senator Leahy intends, for purely political purposes, to stall confirmation of a gentleman Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has called a ‘consensus candidate.’

Leahy’s partisan reaction to a consensus nominee flies in the face of his recent boast, “I've been aggressive in making sure that we [the Judiciary Committee] operate in a bipartisan way.” (Leahy Brings the Law, Burlington Free Press, 9/16/07)

On August 1, Senator Leahy was extremely critical of outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez for making “law enforcement appear political.” Because when that happens, “the whole system breaks down.” (Leahy attacks Bush, Roberts, by Roger Simon, Aug 1, 2007).  By this logic, confirmation of the United States’ top law enforcement office should not appear political either, yet Leahy is making it so.

And finally, this is simply unfair. Leahy’s demands have nothing to do with Michael Mukasey or his abilities to be a successful Attorney General, a position critical to our national security as we fight the War on Terror.

Patrick Leahy should put politics aside and give our country and Judge Mukasey a fair and speedy confirmation process.

Sen. Leahy's Chief of Staff Ed Pagano sent us this response:

Ed_pagano "Too bad the Republican Party chairman once again doesn't know what he's talking about, just what his masters at party headquarters in Washington have told him to say.

Meanwhile Senator Leahy and White House Counsel
Fred Fielding
both say they are having promising discussions about access to documents that until now have been locked behind the stonewalling.  Mr. Roper won't succeed in undermining that progress.

The President hasn't even sent this nomination to the Senate yet, and the confirmation  process will proceed in due course once he does."

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Comments

ncm

Roper ought to be more concerned about the Douglas administration's inability to get the Bush administration's attention on the medicaid issue rather than the timing of Leahy's Judiciary Comittee hearings on the new attorney general appointment. Then again, if Roper could get the Bush administration to stop stonewalling and answer some of the questions raised by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the confirmation hearings might get underway sooner rather than later.

jpc

" Sen. Patrick Leahy made it perfectly clear on Monday (at least I thought so), that Michael Mukasey's chances of replacing Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States would improve significantly if the Bush White House stopped withholding subpoenaed documents"

I sure hope you are wrong. That could get Leaky thrown off another committee.

Watercloset

Wonder what Mr. Roper is afraid of. Is he afraid that Leahy will uncover more of what his beloved GOP has shown itself to truly be -- a war party of klepocrats and liars?

I would seriously doubt that the Bushies will pay much attention to Roper. They are busy trying to launch a new war with Iran and keep covering their derrieres as Leahy is still bearing down on them for what they have done. I hope that he continues.

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