Deputy Attorney General Pick Quits

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 8, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Deputy Attorney General Pick Quits


Byline: Charles Hurt, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Timothy E. Flanigan withdrew his nomination yesterday, four months after President Bush selected him to be deputy attorney general.

Mr. Flanigan blamed the "uncertainty concerning the timing of my confirmation," in a letter he wrote to Mr. Bush.

The withdrawal comes as Democrats accused him of being involved in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and of having ties to indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Democrats also criticized him for not having any courtroom experience as a prosecutor.

"Rather than appointing professionals with relevant experience, the Bush administration has promoted a culture of cronyism by tapping political allies and close friends for key positions," Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said after the withdrawal. "Mr. Flanigan has no experience as a prosecutor, a characteristic that has become all too common in the leadership of the Justice Department. America can do better than nominations like these."

Mr. Flanigan, general counsel for Tyco International, was nominated to the No. 2 position at the Department of Justice in May. It is the position most recently held by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

During Mr. Flanigan's first hearing, Democrats pressed him about his ties to Mr. Abramoff, the casino lobbyist at the center of several federal investigations who lobbied on behalf of Tyco. They also inquired about Mr. Flanigan's involvement in drafting new administration policy allowing aggressive interrogation techniques to be used on detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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