There a whole host of issues confronting the Justice Department that remain unaddressed– overall politicization, the Office of Legal Counsel memos, torture memos, hiring and firing practices, and selective prosecution. But when it comes to hard answers to Congressional Oversight, Attorney General Michael Mukasey dances around the questions, usually deflecting criticism that stems from the Gonzales era.
When Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) requested a listing of the OLC memoranda that the DOJ chose not to review, Mukasey stated that he didn’t know that it “would serve anybody’s interest” to do so.
When Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) questioned him about why Judith Miller was left in jail, he demurred, stating that it fell into the responsibilities of special counsel.
When Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) wanted to know if anyone was planning on reviewing Gitmo detainees files to see why they were being detained, Mukasey deferred noting the cases were before the D.C. district court.
And when Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) demanded accountability for the loss of valuable civil servants to the politicization of the DOJ Honors Program, the Attorney General stated that it had already been “covered by the OIG report.”
But when it was Sen. Joe Biden’s (D-DE) turn to ask questions, he took a more straight forward approach, tearing into Mukasey as an “enigma,” “acting like you float above up in the ether somewhere.”