The man President Bush has picked to replace embattled former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his nomination hearing on Wednesday. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is on the panel and says he already talked with the nominee, Michael Mukasey, a few weeks ago.
Grassley says, "I met with him for a short period of time, maybe a half-hour in my office to discuss with him some of the things I might be asking him during his hearing and that was the first or second day that he was announced." Mukasey is a retired federal judge from New York and presided over the 1995 trial of ten people who were accused in the bombing of the World Trade Center, in addition to other terrorism cases.
Grassley says Mukasey served on the U.S. District Court for New York’s southern district for 18 years. "He’s had a good reputation for court administration within that district," Grassley says. Grassley, a Republican, says perhaps even more importantly, Mukasey promises to bring some vital experience to the Justice Department, given his work on terrorism cases.
Grassley says, "It seems like he’s silenced a lot of Democratic criticism about their attack on the Justice Department which tells me that they may have confidence that he can raise the morale in the department and overturn some of the shortcomings of Gonzales."
In announcing Mukasey’s nomination a few weeks ago, President Bush said "He earned the reputation as a tough but fair judge," adding, "Judge Mukasey is clear-eyed about the threats our nation faces. He knows what it takes to fight this war effectively, and he knows how to do it in a manner consistent with our laws and our Constitution."