Despite controversy over Michael Mukasey's cagey responses to questions about waterboarding and torture, Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein will vote to confirm the AG nominee, the Democratic senators said this afternoon. Their votes, along with Republican committee members', are expected to tip the scales in Mukasey's favor and send his nomination to a full Senate vote, CNN reports.
Playing up the need for new leadership, Feinstein called Mukasey "the best we will get" and said voting him down would allow "the administration to avoid the transparency that confirmation hearings provide." Schumer initially praised Mukasey as a consensus candidate. Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy fiercely criticized Mukasey, saying: "No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is torture."