Texas Sen. John Cornyn has been working hard to position himself as the GOP’s top attack dog now that Dick Cheney is off to Dr. Evil’s Retirement Home for Used-Up Despots. Cornyn single-handedly sought to hold up Hillary Clinton’s confirmation as Secretary of State, calling for more transparency on foreign donations to the foundation headed by her hubby Bill. Cornyn then went to work with GOP cohorts to delay the confirmation hearing of Attorney General-designee Eric Holder, saying he wants assurances Holder won’t prosecute intelligence officials from the Bush administration for their role in torture schemes.
The QueQue actually commends Cornyn on the Clinton transparency issue – we’d like to see Bill’s donor list too. If it's all good, then why not disclose?
“We should not let our respect for Senator Clinton… or the many good works of the Clinton Foundation blind us to the danger of perceived conflicts of interest caused by the solicitation of hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign and some domestic sources,” said Cornyn on the Senate Floor last week. That current lack of transparency does indeed fly against President Obama’s initiative to bring the “light of day” to American government. Cornyn voted to confirm Hillary, but said he’d be working on legislation for “an across-the-board disclosure requirement” that isn’t just targeted at the Clintons. Cornyn spokesperson Kevin McLaughlin says that the impending legislation intends to make it illegal for Cabinet-level appointees (and their spouses) to accept any payments or donations from foreign entities while they serve.
But the Holder nomination is another story. Cornyn has been accused of classic partisan politics with his treatment of Holder, with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) saying Cornyn is pulling a “double-standard” after having confirmed a less-qualified Alberto Gonzales to the same position. Asking a prosecutor to make a determination about who to prosecute, or not, before he has all the facts, does indeed smell of such partisanship. McLaughlin says Cornyn simply wants to protect those who were just following orders, deemed legal at the time, to defend the country. As to potential prosecution of someone like say Donald Rumsfeld for giving those orders (if he did), McLaughlin said Cornyn believes legal decisions have already addressed this and that anything else would be “a fruitless expedition.”
The QueQue gives Cornyn a Stephen Colbert tip of the hat on the Clinton issue but a wag of the finger on the Holder nomination. The delayed committee vote on Holder's confirmation is now scheduled for January 28.
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