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Was Flanigan “Blocked”?


A careful reader challenges my claim below that TIm Flanigan’s confirmation as Deputy Attorney General was “blocked” by Senate Democrats. As reported here, after substnatial delays, Flanigan himself withdrew on October 7 after the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a second hearing — to investigate Flanigan’s alleged ties to Jack Abramoff — and had scheduled a committee vote for October 20. So, as a technical matter, one could argue that Flanigan was not “blocked” — as there would eventually have been a vote. Instead, he withdrew in the face of persistent questioing and, in my view, largely unfounded allegations, well aware that the scheduled vote on his nomination could have been delayed further.