- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Senate Republicans temporarily put the brakes on Eric Holder’s confirmation as attorney general, pressing Mr. Obama’s nominee for fuller answers about his views on Bush administration interrogations and spying and whether intelligence agents involved will face criminal prosecution.

The Judiciary Committee had scheduled a confirmation vote for Wednesday but Republicans objected. Rules permit the vote to be delayed up to a week by members objections.

Mr. Holder, a former judge and deputy attorney general under President Clinton, was grilled at a confirmation hearing last week about his views on Guantanamo Bay detainees, interrogation methods and his signing off on the end-of-term pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.

In a break with the previous administration, Mr. Holder told the panel that waterboarding — an interrogation technique that simulates drowning — was torture.

The U.S. reportedly used waterboarding and other harsh questioning methods at the detention compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The new batch of questions come from committee members such as Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, who wants more information about whether Mr. Holder will prosecute troops or agents who interrogated terror suspects during the Bush administrations war on terror.

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