Washington (CNN) - Official documents, correspondence and other papers from the period of time Chuck Hagel held his U.S. Senate seat are closed to public viewing by the archives entrusted to hold them.
The lack of access has created yet another controversy around the embattled nominee to become the next defense secretary, raising questions among some about whether he might be hiding something in those files.
(CNN) - Fifteen of Chuck Hagel’s harshest Republican critics in the Senate are calling on President Obama to withdraw his nomination, arguing “it would be unprecedented for a Secretary of Defense to take office without the broad base of bipartisan support and confidence needed to serve effectively in this critical position.”
In a letter Thursday to the president, the senators didn’t raise any new substantive concerns about Hagel but reiterated long-held complaints about his stances on key issues. In particular, they said his “ambivalence about whether containment or prevention is the best approach” to dealing with a possibly nuclear-armed Iran means “the military option will have near zero credibility” if he were in charge of the Pentagon.
(CNN) – Sen. John Barrasso said Sunday that when Republicans held up a vote last week on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary, it wasn't a political ploy, but a sign of serious questions about the nominee.
"I have grave reservations," Barrasso said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think he's been wrong about Iran, wrong about Israel, wrong in Iraq, wrong with nuclear weapons. I absolutely plan to vote against him."
(CNN) – The Senate failed to garner enough votes Thursday to stop a filibuster against Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel.
Fifty-eight voted to move forward with the nomination, while 40 voted to hold it up. One senator, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, announced present, and Republican Sen. David Vitter missed the vote.
Washington (CNN) – In his final press briefing as defense secretary, Leon Panetta expressed concern over how the world will view the United States if it fails to avert steep budget cuts due to take effect in two weeks.
"What they (other countries) worry about is what I worry about, which is whether or not we can govern and whether or not we can face the tough decisions that have to be made and resolve those," Panetta said on Wednesday about the budget uncertainty.
(CNN) – The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a vote on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary at 230 p.m. ET Tuesday, the office of Chairman Carl Levin announced Monday.
While Hagel went through his confirmation hearings on January 31, Levin put off the vote after more than two dozen Republicans pressed Hagel to provide additional financial information about corporations and other organizations he's been associated with since leaving Congress.
(CNN) - Democratic Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin is making clear he is fed up with Republicans dragging their feet on Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense Secretary, and now says he will schedule a vote soon, even over Republican opposition.
"We can't not vote because there is dissatisfaction on the part of people because that could be endless," said Levin, D-Michigan.
Washington (CNN) - Despite his sharp criticism of cabinet nominee Chuck Hagel, Sen. John McCain said Monday he would oppose any effort by his colleagues to block an up-or-down vote on President Obama's pick to run the Department of Defense.
"I do not support a filibuster," McCain said. "I don't think it's appropriate and I would oppose such a move."
(CNN) – Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and senior adviser to the president's re-election bid, said Sunday that President Obama's nominee for defense secretary didn't perform too well during his confirmation hearing last week.
Gibbs, however, expressed confidence that former Sen. Chuck Hagel would be confirmed and would make "a good secretary of defense."
(CNN) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended Sunday former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, on CNN's "State of the Union." Hagel faced tough questioning at Senate confirmation hearings last week.
The top military officials also weighed in on the 2014 drawdown in Afghanistan, saying the troop withdrawal will largely depend on the strength of the country’s security forces.