January 11, 2005


Bush Picks Ex-Prosecutor for Homeland Post: Bush Picks Former Prosecutor Who Helped Craft Early War on Terror Strategy for Homeland Post (The Associated Press, Jan. 11, 2005)

President Bush on Tuesday chose federal appeals court judge Michael Chertoff to be his new Homeland Security chief, turning to a former federal prosecutor who helped craft the early war on terror strategy.

"Mike has shown a deep commitment to the cause of justice and an unwavering determination to protect the American people," Bush said. "Mike has also been a key leader in the war on terror."

Chertoff headed the Justice Department's criminal division from 2001 to 2003, where he played a central role in the nation's legal response to the Sept. 11 attacks, before the president named him to appeals court position in New Jersey. [...]

Bush said that Chertoff has "been confirmed by the Senate three times," signaling that he should have no problem surmounting the advise and consent process.

Chertoff, whose appeal court nomination sailed through Congress, won immediate support on Capitol Hill, where even Democrats applauded the choice.

"Judge Mike Chertoff has the resume to be an excellent Homeland Security Secretary, given his law enforcement background and understanding of New York's and America's neglected homeland security needs," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Chertoff, whose resume includes stints as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey and the Senate Republicans' chief counsel for the Clinton-era Whitewater investigation, was one of the administration's key figures in the war on terror.

The Whitewater ties explain why the White House chose this week to plant a story about how much the President likes Bill Clinton--don't want this to seem like a partisan dig.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2005 1:01 PM
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