Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Democrats Say They Will Use AG Nomination as Leverage

This kind of pressure might be the best chance to pry some information out of the White House about the illegal domestic spying programs and the like.

But alas, if Bush says no, I doubt that the Democrats will push it.

Two Senate Democrats warned Monday that the Judiciary Committee would delay confirmation of President Bush's choice for attorney general unless the White House turned over documents that the panel was seeking for several investigations.

The selection of Mr. Mukasey — a Washington outsider who met Mr. Bush for the first time during an hour-long interview at the White House on Sept. 1 — seemed to signal that the administration is looking to move past the partisanship that characterized Mr. Gonzales’s tenure.

But two Democrats who will have a powerful say over whether Mr. Mukasey gets confirmed — Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Charles E. Schumer of New York — vowed on Monday to use the nomination to extract information from a reluctant White House.

"All I want is the material we need to ask some questions about the former attorney general's conduct, on torture and warrantless wiretapping, so we can legitimately ask, 'Here's what was done in the past, what will you do?'" Mr. Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said. ...

The White House wants Mr. Mukasey confirmed by Oct. 8, when the Senate leaves for its next recess. But Mr. Leahy said there would be no quick confirmation without the documents. He said he had told the White House counsel, Fred F. Fielding, that "cooperation with the White House would be central" to scheduling hearings.

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