Baucus, Tester statement on Judge Michael Mukasey

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today released the following statement:

"From fighting terrorism, fraud, corruption and the scourge of meth to gaining the trust of the American people the next Attorney General has a huge task ahead.  Over the past several weeks, we have listened carefully to what both Judge Mukasey has said and what he has refused to say. 

We are deeply troubled by Judge Mukasey's refusal to acknowledge what our courts, our military and every single previous administration has recognized: waterboarding is torture and it is illegal.  Failure by our government to repudiate torture exposes American men and women fighting around the world to potential danger and injustice.

For too long the Department of Justice has lacked an independent leader who will attack the many problems that face this country, while preserving the liberties guaranteed in our Constitution.  We do not believe that Judge Mukasey will be that needed independent voice and we cannot, in good conscience, vote for his confirmation."