Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bush pick for No. 3 at Justice withdraws

Leahy nails it.

Mercer didn't want to testify under oath, again.

Bush pick for No. 3 at Justice withdraws - Yahoo! News:

Bill Mercer sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales saying it was unlikely that the Senate would confirm him as associate attorney general, a post he has held on an interim basis since September. He plans to leave Washington and turn his full attention to his work as U.S. attorney for Montana.

'With no clear end in sight with respect to my nomination, it is untenable for me to pursue both responsibilities and provide proper attention to my family,' Mercer wrote.

The Judiciary Committee had scheduled a hearing on Mercer's nomination for Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the committee had said senators needed the facts from an investigation into the firings of several federal prosecutors before he could be confirmed.

'The White House has found many ways to keep sunlight from reaching some of the darker corners of the Bush Justice Department, but this is a new one,' Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement. 'With a confirmation hearing looming next Tuesday, they have withdrawn this nomination to avoid having to answer more questions under oath.'

Mercer is the sixth senior Justice Department official to leave the tight-knit circle of Gonzales' advisers in the wake of the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last December.

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