Feinstein, Schumer to vote for Mukasey

Feinstein accepts White House "confirm now, ask questions later" argument


Tim Grieve
November 3, 2007 12:49AM (UTC)

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein said this afternoon that they will vote to confirm Michael Mukasey, guaranteeing that the president's nominee to replace Alberto Gonzales will survive a vote before the Senate Judiciary Committee and virtually assuring that he'll be confirmed by the full Senate.

Schumer, who advocated on behalf of Mukasey until the nominee refused to offer his opinion on the legality of waterboarding, said that Mukasey was not his "ideal choice" but might be the best that Democrats could expect to get out of George W. Bush.

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In a statement, Feinstein seemed to adopt an argument advanced by White House press secretary Dana Perino yesterday: The Senate should confirm Mukasey and then "ask" him to return to the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the issue of waterboarding further.

As we noted yesterday, there's no guarantee that Mukasey will answer questions about waterboarding once he's confirmed -- indeed, there's plenty of reason to believe that he won't. Feinstein's solution: Whatever Mukasey's views may be, Congress should pass legislation "explicitly" banning waterboarding and then trust that the new attorney general will enforce that law.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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