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Mukasey promises greater DOJ independence: Leahy

[JURIST] Former federal judge and US Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey [WH factsheet; PBWT profile] will forbid US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] employees from discussing sensitive cases with outside agencies if he is confirmed as attorney general, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] said Thursday. In a private meeting with Leahy, Mukasey reportedly assured Leahy that any DOJ employee reporting to outside sources, such as the White House or Congress, without Mukasey's authorization would be fired. Leahy said Thursday at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting that he was pleased with Mukasey's "attitude." Leahy has backed off earlier statements that he would hold up Mukasey's nomination until the Bush administration hands over key information about its domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive].

President George W. Bush formally nominated [JURIST report] Mukasey to replace resigning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] Monday. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have generally reacted favorably [JURIST report] to the nomination, expressing tentative bi-partisan support for a quick confirmation process. AP has more.

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