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Tag: confirmation

Contentious Senate Hearings Expected When Obama Names Replacement for AG Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Whoever is going to succeed Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is likely to face a contentious Senate, the Washington Post reports.

Some Republicans even called for a delay because of the potential of midterm elections swinging in favor of the GOP in November.

“Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced,” Sen. Ted Cruz said.

Democrats urged Republicans to let Obama make his selection without the drama.

“This is going to be the first real test, whether it’s in the lame-duck or early in the new year, whether our Republican colleagues are going to continue to obstruct,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday in an interview. “Every president deserves to have his attorney general.”

Obama has yet to indicate when he will replace Holder.

Homeland Security Nominee Jeh Johnson on Smooth Track to Confirmation – So Far

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If Wednesday was any indication, President Obama’s choice for Department of Homeland Security may have a remarkably smooth nomination process.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a Senate committee swiftly supported the appointment of Jeh Johnson, who gained fans among Republicans while the Pentagon’s chief counsel.

The committee support means Johnson must now gain full Senate approval.

The job won’t be easy if Johnson gets it. The agency has long been accused of mismanagement and waste.

FBI Admits Using Drones 10 Times for Surveillance on U.S. Soil

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has acknowledged using surveillance drones on U.S. soil at least 10 times, Al Jazeera America reports.

The admission comes after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made inquiries after FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress in June that the bureau had used drones for “limited law enforcement purposes.”

According to the disclosure, the FBI used drones domestically eight times for criminal cases and twice for “national security cases,” Al Jazeera America wrote.

Paul had vowed to block the confirmation of a new FBI director until details of the drone use became available.

James Comey Defends US Surveillance Practices at FBI Confirmation Hearing

 

James Comey testifies Tuesday.

By Spencer Ackerman
The Gaurdian

President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the FBI forcefully argued to the Senate that the oversight mechanisms on the government’s widespread surveillance of phone records and online habits sufficiently protect Americans’ privacy.

James Comey, the former US deputy attorney general, said Tuesday that the secret surveillance court that approves wiretapping requests is “anything but a rubber stamp”, even though the so-called Fisa court approves nearly every surveillance request by the government.

“I think folks don’t understand that the FBI operates under a wide variety of constraints,” Comey testified during his confirmation hearing to succeed Robert Mueller as the second director of the bureau since 9/11. The combination of the Fisa court, investigative guidelines from the US attorney general, congressional scrutiny and internal inspectors general are “very effective” at checking FBI abuse, Comey argued.

To read more click here.

 

James Comey Faces Tough Questions During Confirmation Battle During Confirmation Hearings

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee for FBI director, James Comey, faces a tough confirmation battle over a host of controversial issues facing the agency.

Comey, who served as deputy attorney general in President George W. Bush, is seeking Senate confirmation at a tough time for the FBI, reports The Hill. The Hill reports that hearing will start after Congress returns from its 4th of July recess.

Among the controversial topics expected to be addressed are miranda rights and enemy combatant status, the Boston bombing missteps, drones and eavesdropping.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold hearings this week after the July 4 recess.

 

Rachel Maddow: James Comey’s FBI Confirmation Could Be a “Very Big Hairy Political Deal”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Michele Leonhart Finally Gets the Final Nod to Head DEA; Senate Vote Was Unanimous

Michele Leonhart

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — After serving as acting head of the DEA since November 2007, Michele Leonhart finally got confirmed as the permanent leader of the agency.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday night unanimously voted to confirm Leonhart, making her the 10th administrator in the DEA’s history, the agency said.

Leonhart is the first female DEA Special Agent to rise through the ranks of the agency to become its Administrator and the second woman to lead the DEA, the agency said. She joined the agency in 1980.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to continue to lead the world’s premier drug law enforcement organization,” Leonhart said in a statement after the Senate vote.

“I am dedicated to meeting the challenges that DEA faces, from disrupting and dismantling extremely violent Mexican based drug cartels; to defeating narco-terrorists operating in Afghanistan and around the world; and doing all we can to reduce prescription drug abuse, our nation’s fastest growing drug threat.”

“I applaud the unanimous confirmation of Michele Leonhart, and agree with the strong bipartisan consensus validating her proven qualifications and effectiveness to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration,” said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Leonhart’s long-term status as “acting” head of the agency became a point of irritation to some current and former agents. They felt the White House didn’t care enough about the DEA to address the issue.

Whatever the case, a number of people offered laudatory words.

Margaret Moore, president of Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) remarked: “We are confident that the newly confirmed Administrator will uphold the finest traditions of DEA and provide the constant guidance and leadership for this outstanding law enforcement agency.”

Atty. Gen. Holder Failed to Disclose Briefs During Confirmation Hearing Last Year

Atty. Gen. Holder

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. is finding out just how fun it can be to head the Justice Department when some politicians want your head.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Holder failed to notify the Senate last year during the conformation hearings that “he had signed several briefs urging courts to reject President George W. Bush’s claim that he had the power to imprison an American citizen as an “enemy combatant,” the Justice Department acknowledged Thursday.”

The Times reported that Republicans are likely to attack Holder over failing to turn over the documents as he was required to do.

“The briefs should have been disclosed as part of the confirmation process,” said Matthew Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, according to the Times. “In preparing thousands of pages for submission, it was unfortunately and inadvertently missed. In any event, the attorney general has publicly discussed his positions on detention policy on many occasions, including at his confirmation hearing.”

Meanwhile, on Friday the news website Main Justice that Holder turned over to the Senate half a dozen Supreme Court briefs he failed to disclose.

“We regret the omission,” Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said in a letter accompanying the list of amicus briefs not included in Holder’s Senate questionnaire, as required, according to Main Justice.

Read NY Times Story

Read Main Justice Story