Mukasey draws Democrats' ire

July 20, 2008 at 3:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey is in the cross-hairs of Democratic lawmakers who say the Justice Department has been politicized by the White House.

Mukasey, a retired federal judge, has just six more months on the job before President George Bush leaves office.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said recently Mukasey is "content to serve as a caretaker for the regime of excessive executive power established by the Bush administration," The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Mukasey has drawn the ire of some Democrats for refusing to open criminal investigations on matters that predate him, including probes into whether Cabinet officials committed war crimes when they approved harsh interrogation tactics for terror suspects.

"He wants to make sure that America is in a position where it can protect itself against terrorism, that the FBI is making the changes it needs to make," said Rudy Giuliani, a longtime friend and former New York mayor. "And I think he wants to make sure the Justice Department is operating in the independent way it ought to operate."

The newspaper reported Mukasey is among several elder statesman who accepted Bush's request to join his administration in his second term to help address some of the political fallout created by their predecessors.

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