Senator Threatens To Block Comey FBI Nod

Jul 10 2013 | 12:30pm ET

Former Bridgewater Associates general counsel James Comey's nomination to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation has hit a speed bump.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he will seek to block consideration of Comey's nomination until current FBI Director Robert Mueller answers more questions about domestic drone use. Paul asked Mueller for more specifics on the program yesterday.

"Legitimate questions on important government functions should not be ignored," Paul wrote. "These questions are easily answerable and primarily questions of fact, so I respectfully request again that you provide answers to my questions. Without adequate answers to my questions, I will object to the consideration of [Comey's] nomination and ask my colleagues to do the same."

Comey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, answering questions about his time at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush. Comey made a name for himself when he refused to reauthorize the National Security Agency's domestic wiretapping program, but has been criticized for authorizing waterboarding of suspected terrorists.

During the hearing, Comey told the panel that he objected to the use of waterboarding, but that his "argument was rejected" by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "He disagreed with me, and overruled me."

Comey said he believes that waterboarding "is torture and is illegal."

The panel was largely commending of Comey, a Republican, with the chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) saying he "showed courage and independence." Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that while ABC had called Comey a "folk hero for Democrats," "I don't think this is a cause for concern on this side of the aisle."


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