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Politics

Mukasey Senate confirmation hearing October 17

President Bush listens to retired New York judge Michael Mukasey, whom he had just nominated as the new Attorney General, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, September 17, 2007. Confirmation hearings for Mukasey will begin next week, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy announced on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Confirmation hearings for Michael Mukasey, President George W. Bush’s nominee to be attorney general, will begin next week, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy announced on Wednesday.

Leahy, a Vermont Democrats, has said committee members would ask the retired federal judge whether he would resist political pressure from the White House if confirmed to head the Justice Department.

Democrats and other critics viewed his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, as a tool of the White House who allowed the Justice Department to become politicized.

Leahy said Mukasey’s hearing would begin on October 17 and continue during the week as needed. He plans to meet privately with Mukasey next Tuesday.

Bush nominated Mukasey on September 17 to replace Gonzales, who resigned under pressure from Democrats as well as some fellow Republicans.

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