Dawn Johnsen withdraws from consideration for Justice post
President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has withdrawn her bid for confirmation after she languished for more than a year without a Senate vote.
Several Republicans objected to Dawn E. Johnsen over her criticism of the Bush administration's terrorist interrogation policies.
Johnsen's withdrawal was disclosed Friday by White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter.
The Senate Judiciary Committee had recommended her confirmation on party-line votes. But several Republicans objected to Johnsen's sharp criticisms of terrorist interrogation policies under President George W. Bush, and the full Senate never voted on her nomination.
The decision about who should lead the little-known office became a political flashpoint because of the controversies surrounding Bush-era interrogations of terror suspects.
During the Bush administration, lawyers at the OLC wrote memos approving interrogation techniques that human rights advocates call torture. Those methods included waterboarding, or simulated drowning.
Lawyers who worked on those legal opinions were investigated for years but ultimately the Justice Department decided their actions were the result of poor judgment, not professional misconduct.
April 9, 2010; 5:48 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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