Two Senate Democrats warned Monday that the Judiciary Committee would delay confirmation of President Bush’s choice for attorney general unless the White House turned over documents that the panel was seeking for several investigations.
But two Democrats who will have a powerful say over whether Mr. Mukasey gets confirmed — Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Charles E. Schumer of New York — vowed on Monday to use the nomination to extract information from a reluctant White House.
“All I want is the material we need to ask some questions about the former attorney general’s conduct, on torture and warrantless wiretapping, so we can legitimately ask, ‘Here’s what was done in the past, what will you do?”’ Mr. Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said.
The White House wants Mr. Mukasey confirmed by Oct. 8, when the Senate leaves for its next recess. But Mr. Leahy said there would be no quick confirmation without the documents. He said he had told the White House counsel, Fred F. Fielding, that “cooperation with the White House would be central” to scheduling hearings.
My only worry is that Bush has used recess appointments in the past to make his choices permanent without Senate confirmation. I may have missed it, but I don't recall this (excess) power being taken away from Bush.