Tuesday, September 18, 2007

senator patrick leahy -- on AG nominee mukasey, today. . .

just as elliot richardson's AG
confirmation hearings time-table
was subject to compliance with over-
sight disclosure requests -- related to
the the watergate cover-up scandal -- so
too, should this one be. . .

good on senator leahy for making it plain:

Remarks Of Sen. Leahy,
Chairman, Senate
Judiciary Committee,
After Meeting With
Prospective Attorney
General Nominee Judge
Michael Mukasey

September 18, 2007

I just met with Judge Mukasey briefly, so that we could introduce ourselves to each other. We have the common bond of having both come from law enforcement backgrounds.

I have publicly praised the President, and do so again, for not choosing to nominate individuals from that publicized list of contenders whose records of partisanship would have led to immediate difficulties.

I begin this process of Senate review of the President’s nomination with hope and with optimism. The last thing I or any of us want is to be disappointed in those hopes.

Replacing an Attorney General is part but not all of what needs to be done to restore trust in the Justice Department. The confirmation process can be a catalyst for resolving outstanding issues between the Senate and the Administration. I hope that will happen now.

There are a number of issues that arise from that dark period that still need resolution. Cooperation from the Administration in making progress on our longstanding oversight requests is still needed and will be helpful in moving forward.

I am pleased to report that recent discussions that I have had with Mr. Fielding, the White House Counsel, have been encouraging on that score. I take him at his word that he will work to provide the Judiciary Committee with information and documents that we need. This is relevant to the next nominee and future Attorneys General so that past excesses and mistakes are not repeated.

I met with Judge Mukasey today hoping that after we get cooperation from the Administration and are able to conduct a fair and thorough review process, all Senators will be able to vote in favor of his confirmation. I want to avoid the kind of witch hunt from the Right that scuttled the President’s nomination of Harriet Miers.

I see Judge Mukasey’s nomination as another chance to clear the decks of some important unfinished business that goes to the heart of accountability in government. It is also another chance for a fresh start in the relationship between Congress and the Justice Department headed by a new Attorney General.

The big job of Attorney General of the United States has gotten bigger, with the erosion of public trust and sagging morale throughout the Department of Justice. The next Attorney General will need to begin the process of restoring the Department of Justice to its proper mission so that it is worthy of its name.

No comments: