Former judge and prosecutor Michael Mukasey will be nominated to succeed Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, the New York Times reports. Mukasey (pronounced mew-KAY-see) would become the third attorney general to serve under Bush. Unlike Gonzales, Mukasey is not a close confidant of the president. Nor is he a Washington insider. People in both political parties say he possesses the two qualities that Bush is seeking: a law-and-order sensibility that dovetails with the president's agenda for the fight against terror, and the potential to avoid a bruising confirmation battle with the Democrats who run the Senate.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who led the fight to oust Gonzales, said that “while he is certainly conservative, Judge Mukasey seems to be the kind of nominee who would put rule of law first and show independence from the White House, our most important criteria. For sure we'd want to ascertain his approach on such important and sensitive issues as wiretapping and the appointment of U.S. attorneys, but he's a lot better than some of the other names mentioned and he has the potential to become a consensus nominee.” Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), said Mukasey must prove he was “not just the president's lawyer, but the country's lawyer” as well. Democrats shot down other potential nominees, such as Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Solicitor General Theodore Olson.