November 9th, 2007
01:21 PM ET
15 years ago

Mukasey to be sworn in, begin work as attorney general Friday

Michael Mukasey will soon take over the helm of the Justice Department.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Retired federal judge Michael Mukasey will become Attorney General Mukasey on Friday afternoon, taking the oath of office without fanfare from a Justice Department official.

Officials said Mukasey was en route from New York to Washington at midday and was expected to go straight to his new Justice Department office to take the oath in private from Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Loftus.

Next week Mukasey will be formally sworn in at a public ceremony either at the White House or the Justice Department. No date has been announced.

Justice Department officials busily processing documents in advance of Mukasey's arrival said they expected the new attorney general to hold a series of closed meetings with senior officials Friday, including one dealing with classified matters to which Mukasey did not have access prior to his confirmation.

Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Peter Keisler, who has doubled as acting attorney general in recent weeks, is expected to leave the department within days. Keisler had announced his planned departure and was within a day of leaving when then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his surprise decision to resign. President Bush asked Keisler to stay on to head the department until a successor was confirmed, and he agreed.

Acting Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford is expected to remain in his post for now.

The Senate voted to confirm Mukasey Thursday night, 53-40, despite complaints from some Democrats about his refusal to brand as torture a controversial interrogation technique known as "waterboarding."

Mukasey, 66, will take over a Justice Department beset by a number of high-level vacancies and congressional investigations. Gonzales resigned under fire in September.

Related: Mukasey to be sworn in as attorney general

- CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden

Filed under: Michael Mukasey
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. DefendTheConstitution

    What an unbelievable disaster this is. Now the Bush administration has another year to rape the Constitution and continue to bolster Executive power for Bush's dictatorial regime.

    November 9, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Feinstein, CA

    I wish Mukasey luck, he's what we need right now.

    November 9, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. James, Phoenix AZ

    I hope Mukasey fires a few more of those lazy US Attorneys refusing to prosecute democrats.

    It's a good day in Washington DC 🙂

    Bush wins AGAIN.

    November 9, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Steven, Weston, West Virginia

    Well I guess he's better than Guillermo. Luckily though we have less than a year until we elect a President and make then President-elect. I see GW crying as he leaves the White House while we all will be cheering!

    November 9, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Stop complaining about Bush's republican pick for AG. Affirmative action is not in law. Think about it.

    November 9, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. voiceoffreedom

    sheesh, does it ever stop?

    On March 31, 2005, it was announced that Giuliani would join the law firm of Bracewell & Patterson LLP (renamed Bracewell & Giuliani LLP) as a name partner and symbolic head of the expanding firm’s new New York office. When he joined the firm he brought Marc Mukasey into the firm. (Mukasey is the son of Attorney General Michael Mukasey.) Despite a busy schedule the former mayor is known to be highly active in the day-to-day business of the Texas-based law firm described by the New York Times as “perhaps the nation’s most aggressive lobbyist for coal-fired power plants, heavy emitters of air pollutants and carbon dioxide, a gas associated with global warming.”

    The ties are like a spider web in this admin, and like the spider web it entangles and traps all. It is deadly.

    November 9, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. John Kaleto, San Diego, CA

    When President Bush leaves office, who will the loony left have left to hate?

    November 9, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Kristy Sanborn, Dixon, Mo

    Mr. Mukasey's first day in office, and it didn't fail, a duragatory posting by 'Defend the Consitution', who wants to defend our Constitution, what is it that gives us the freedom of speech? 'Defend our Constitution' has the freedom to have printed their name, but did they excercise that right? No.
    Myself, I would so like to congratulate Mr. Mukasey on his new postion as our new United States Attorney General, and to thank our President George W. Bush for selecting a man who will stand up for justice in the same way Mr. Alberto Gonzales did.
    I would suspect the problem 'Defend our Constitution' has with Mr. Mukasey's appointment to this position, would be the same one they probably had with Mr. Gonzales, because our Justice Deptartment is holding people accountable for their crimes. Thats the problem some had with Mr. Gonzales, that he upheld Justice. The reason he will always be remembered as the man who wasn't afraid to stand for Justice, and I am pretty sure, Mr. Mukasey is a man of the same character.
    I am thankful that this man, Mr. Mukasey has taken office today, God does answer prayers.
    There is hope for our country after all!!
    Mr. Mukasey has his work cut out for him, and from all I have read, he is the man for the job!
    Congratulations Mr. Muskasey!

    November 9, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Who took that picture that appears on CNN? It makes the dude look like some alien life form that crept from beneath some rock. Like him or not, at least get a decent photo.

    November 9, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. rob

    Torture is wrong, and this man's repeated refusal to condemn torture renders him utterly incompetent to even be a meter maid. As more and more of Gonzales' cases are overturned in future, we must also look at this guy's cases VERY closely.

    November 9, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Rob, Greensburg KS

    This dude just looks evil. I hope he follows the constitution and not Isreal. He does have that convicted look though.

    November 9, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. trent porter, tx

    God have mercy on ALL of us.

    R.I.P. America

    November 9, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Thomas Cain, Tn.

    I do not know what is worse. Another crony who believes it is aright to destroy the Constitution or the right-wing nutjobs who think it is a left-wing nutjob that criticizes our government. It is both the far left and far right who are destroying this country. Moderate Americans make up most of the population of this country and we know the damage that quiet obedience can do. It is our responsibility to question those we hire.

    November 9, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Peter Silva, Dallas, TX

    Dems were chickened out in voting this AG who supports waterboarding. Its a clear indication from the pressure from White House. Because, if he disapprove that practice as torture, the Dept of Justice would have to face several lawsuits.

    November 9, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Samuel, Lincoln, Nebraska

    I hope Mukasey fires a few more of those lazy US Attorneys refusing to prosecute democrats.

    It's a good day in Washington DC

    Bush wins AGAIN.

    Posted By James, Phoenix AZ : November 9, 2007 2:51 pm

    What a stupid thing to say! About what I'd expect from a right wing blowhard. Anyone who's been paying attention knows that it's the Republicans who are committing crimes, not the Democrats. Remember Larry Craig? Duke Cunningham? Bob Ney?

    Bush may have won the battle, but he'll be in an orange jumpsuit before the end of the decade for crimes against the Constitution, the Geneva Convention, and humanity.

    November 9, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. ronnie - knoxville, tn

    LOL – answer to john in san diego:

    There will be republicans aplenty in the Congress for the loony left to pick on, plus if a Dem is President they will change their focus in Jan 09 to "Bush left this mess" in every federal dept. that exists. (Even tho we know that's not the case)

    November 9, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. JB Boston MA

    To quote Jay Severin-

    if there is a bomb in a school and your child is in that school, and we had the guy who knew how to deactivate the bomb, wouldn't you say "do what you got to do"

    it sucks to acknowledge, but it is true

    November 9, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    I think Mr. Mukasy will be a disappointment for all the prior posters here. Chuck Schumer would not have picked him (yes,picked by a democrat) if he didn't have faith in his ability as a former judge in NY,to restore some legitimacy to the office of AG. He is in no way comparable to Gonzales,who had no credibility or ethics. No,he is not a far left nor a far right candidate. Republicans from NY are not Bushies and we will soon see that. Any "texas mafia" candidate would never have been considered by Schumer. Just look to the reception that Tom Kean got as a leading member of the 911 commission. "He's not a real republican" was the mantra then. I'm a democrat that puts the rule of law over partisanship,and he's fine with me. Chertoff will not be happy.

    November 9, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    JB – Boston, In the event that you tortured someone for information to de-activate a bomb,that information would certainly be suspect and likely would result in more fatalities. Your logic is flawed in assuming that any information obtained through torture would have any value. Besides, Mukasy did not approve of torture. He just wouldn't say publicly that "waterboarding" was torture. Reagan wouldn't say that "star wars" was phony in public either.

    November 9, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. Sue, Michigan

    JB Boston:
    If we had the guy who could defuse the bomb, the LAST thing I'd do to him is torture him! Imagine drowning-you'd say anything to get it to stop, and then, if you really intended to blow up the school, you'd never help any way. Torture can never be justified-we are supposed to be a Christian, God-fearing, moral people,and it's about time we act that way!

    November 9, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  21. Jerry Weed Ca

    Think they will invite the secret service members who filed a complaint against him and his wife all 31 of them

    November 10, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  22. Mac, Severn, Md

    JB in Boston: You are correct.

    November 10, 2007 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  23. Anna Sheehan, Woodbridge, VA

    Kristy Sanborn, Dixon, Mo – Myself, I would so like to congratulate Mr. Mukasey on his new postion as our new United States Attorney General, and to thank our President George W. Bush for selecting a man who will stand up for justice in the same way Mr. Alberto Gonzales did.

    I'm not sure I've ever read such a frightening statement. The last thing this country needs is another Alberto Gonzales – presidential puppet. Ask those who were fired for being Democrats (in violation of the law), Ask the US Attorneys who were fired or forced to resign on trumped up charges. Their careers are destroyed because they followed the law and not the White House line. Ask those we have waterboarded in violation of our own as well as international law – in order to get suspect information. Ask the honest, hard-working Americans whose conversations were recorded illegally and without their knowledge. And lastly, do we really need an AG that – in spite of every testimony and our own country's history – cannot decide if waterboarding is torture, and therefore, illegal. Kiss the Constitution goodby.

    November 10, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Jay, Washington, DC

    I actually think he will make a very effective Attorney General. Afterall, we are now - the American Empire.

    November 10, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. James, Phoenix AZ

    "Bush may have won the battle, but he'll be in an orange jumpsuit before the end of the decade for crimes against the Constitution, the Geneva Convention, and humanity."

    Posted by Samuel, Lincoln, Nebraska


    You see folks, these are classic signs of BDS – Bush Deraigned Syndrome. At the mere suggestion President Bush has made a good choice, success in Iraq, someone in the Media says anything positive – the BDS folks must post angry posts full of name-calling.

    November 12, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |