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Holder confirmed; GOP refocuses on Daschle
“It’s a bit mystifying how all this could happen, but I’d like to examine the details of it before making up our mind. But this isn’t exactly the ethics and lobbying reform that the president announced a short time ago,” Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, said Monday morning on CBS.
Mr. Obama said he was sticking with his nominee Monday. Mr. Daschle filed amended returns for 2005 to 2007 to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest after being nominated. The taxes were on income from consulting work and the use of a car service.
Meanwhile, the White House said Monday night that Mr. Obama plans to nominate Sen. Judd Gregg as commerce secretary Tuesday, as the New Hampshire Republican disclosed an apparent deal that would keep his seat out of Democratic hands, the Associated Press reported.
“I have made it clear to the Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle and to the governor that I would not leave the Senate if I felt my departure would cause a change in the makeup of the Senate,” Mr. Gregg said Monday. The White House confirmed the Gregg choice on the condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been made.
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, confirmed the “understanding,” stopping just short of promising to appoint a Republican or an independent to serve out the remaining two years of Mr. Gregg’s term.
As for Mr. Holder, most senators praised his experience as a prosecutor, federal judge and private lawyer. Some said he has shown independence throughout his career, noting that as a prosecutor he targeted members of his own party for public corruption. They also pointed to Mr. Holder’s support of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s investigation into President Clinton, which ultimately led to impeachment proceedings.
“This is a man of really exceptional service,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat.
Support came form both sides of the aisle.
Mr. Bond said he was swayed by Mr. Holder’s position on prosecuting intelligence officials and of giving immunity from civil lawsuits for telecommunications companies that cooperated with Bush administration’s intelligence-gathering programs.
In written a response to questions from Republicans, Mr. Holder suggested that he would be unlikely to pursue prosecutions of intelligence officials engaged in controversial interrogation tactics.
Among Mr. Holder’s first tasks as attorney general will be to come up with a plan to deal with the 245 detainees who remain in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Obama last week signed an executive order calling for the prison to be closed within the next year.
Mr. Holder will consider having the detainees’ cases heard in civilian courts, military courts or even in some form of the military commissions set up during the Bush administration.
He will also oversee any prosecutions arising out of the current financial crisis.
About the Author
Ben Conery is a member of the investigative team covering the Supreme Court and legal affairs. Prior to coming to The Washington Times in 2008, Mr. Conery covered criminal justice and legal affairs for daily newspapers in Connecticut and Massachusetts. He was a 2006 recipient of the New England Newspaper Association’s Publick Occurrences Award for a series of articles about ...
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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