Thursday, July 28, 2005


Bolton, Lazarus Rising?

My post earlier this week where I declared that Bolton's likelihood of becoming UN ambassador was dead, may turn out to have been wildly premature (sorry, my liberal-leaning visitors!) given the suggestion that a recess appointment is indeed coming. That speculation was largely built on the MSNBC report that Bolton had testified before the Fitzgerald grand jury -- and then not disclosed it on a Senate Foreign Relations Committee questionnaire -- and Steve Clemons' assertion that Bolton was a major source for Miller.

The State Department has now stepped forward to back up Bolton's response on the document as being "truthful." MSNBC has also apparently backtracked from its previous report. If that is indeed the case, Senate Democrats may not protest a recess appointment with as much vigor. Though it raises the question of how MSNBC could have made such a big mistake? I mean, we're talking about a contested nomination and the biggest political story of the summer (for the sake of this point, John Roberts' nomination is not considered a "political" story). That's a pretty big error for a major news organization to make.

UPDATE: It seems that not only big-time news organizations are making errors when it comes to John Bolton. Within hours of the State Department's statement supporting him, that assertion was - ahem - modified: Bolton wasn't interviewed in the Plame leak, but was questioned by the SD's inspector general's office in an internal review of the Niger uranium story. That event with the IG would have fallen under the parameters of the SFR Committee questionnaire regarding legal proceedings. However:
[State Department spokesman Neal] Clay said Bolton "didn't recall being interviewed by the State Department's inspector general" when he filled out the form. "Therefore, his form, as submitted, was inaccurate," Clay said.
"He will correct it."

Will this admission fire up Democrats to cry foul over Bolton? We shall see.

UPDATE: Apparently, the answer is yes. Senate Democrats send a letter to the president urging him not to appoint Bolton, because of the questionnaire issue. (Hat tip: Josh Marshall)

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