Bush reaffirms support for AG nominee Mukasey in radio address

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush praised attorney general nominee Micheal Mukasey [WH profile; JURIST news archive] in his weekly radio address [text; recorded audio] on Saturday, predicting that the former federal judge would be confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday. Bush specifically defended Mukasey's stance on waterboarding [JURIST news archive], saying that because "the program" was classified, Mukasey was not in a position to give an informed legal opinion on a technique he had no certain knowledge of. He suggested that the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] would set an unfortunate precedent if it blocked Mukasey's confirmation for that reason: "it would set a new standard for confirmation that could not be met by any responsible nominee for Attorney General. And that would guarantee that America would have no confirmed Attorney General during this time of war."

President Bush's comments came a day after leading Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) [official websites] said that they would support Mukasey's nomination. Their endorsements in combination with those of GOP colleagues would likely give Mukasey the ten votes that he needs for his nomination to pass the Judiciary Committee and advance to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation. Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said [JURIST report] earlier Friday that he would not support Mukasey's nomination, citing Mukasey's continued reluctance to unequivocally denounce waterboarding as illegal torture. AP has more.

 

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