10/07/2005

Bush's pick for Justice Dept. job withdraws name - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Timothy Flanigan, who faced more questions from Senate Democrats about his links with indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has withdrawn his nomination for the Justice Department's No. 2 job, according to a letter to
President George W. Bush released on Friday.

Flanigan, a senior lawyer for Tyco International Ltd. who had been chosen by Bush in May to be deputy attorney general, cited the continuing uncertainty over when he might be confirmed.

"Uncertainty concerning the timing of my confirmation affects not only the department, but also my family and my employer, who have been very patient in the intervening months," he said in his three-paragraph letter to Bush.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which had been considering Flanigan's nomination, had sought a new round of questioning of Flanigan about his contacts with Abramoff.

Democrats also raised concern about his nomination because of Flanigan's role in developing Bush administration policy allowing aggressive interrogation of detainees in
Afghanistan and
Iraq, and his lack of experience as a prosecutor.

Flanigan had initially said that due to attorney-client privilege, he could not speak about details of his relationship with Abramoff, a lobbyist whose firm, Greenberg Traurig, had been hired by Tyco.

But Flanigan later said Tyco had authorized "limited disclosures" regarding the company's relationship with Greenberg Traurig.

Abramoff, who has been under investigation by the Justice Department, pleaded not guilty last month to federal charges in Miami that he defrauded lenders in a casino cruise line deal.

Abramoff is a key figure in ethics probes involving former House Republican Leader
Tom DeLay, a Texas congressman. DeLay faces charges in a separate case brought In Texas, and he stepped down from his House leadership position after he was charged.

Flanigan and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales worked together in the White House counsel's office after Bush was elected in 2000.

Bush's pick for Justice Dept. job withdraws name - Yahoo! News

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