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Senate Confirms Justice Dept. Nominees Lanny Breuer, Tony West & Christine Varney

Lanny Breuer

Lanny Breuer

As expected, the Senate gave the nod to the latest Justice Department appointees. 

By Mary Jacoby
Main Justice
WASHINGTON — After minimal debate, the Senate this evening quickly confirmed Lanny Breuer as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division; Tony West as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, and Christine Varney as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division.

Their confirmation votes had been delayed by controversy over veteran diplomat Christopher Hill’s nomination to be ambassador to Iraq, prompting Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to complain that Republicans had delayed getting key Obama nominees in place at the Justice Department. The nominees were uncontroversial and should have been confirmed by voice vote, Leahy added.

Noting the unanimous support for Breuer, a Covington & Burling partner and former Clinton White House lawyer, Leahy said: “The right thing has been done. Not a single dissenting vote.” That prompted Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary panel, to chime in about Varney: “Let’s confirm her.”

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