Text of President Bush and Michael Mukasey on Monday, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions. BUSH: Good morning. I'm pleased to announce my nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey to be the 81st attorney general of the United States.
Judge, thank you for agreeing to serve. Attorney general serves as our nation's chief law enforcement officer. The attorney general has an especially vital role to play in a time of war and when we face challenges _ and we face the challenge of protecting our people on a daily basis from deadly enemies, while at the same time protecting our freedom. Judge Mukasey brings impressive credentials to this task. In 1987 he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. It's one of the country's busiest and most respected trial courts. He sat on that court for more than 18 years, and he earned the reputation as a tough but fair judge. For six of those years he was the chief judge, and he was a sound manager and a strong leader. Throughout his time on the bench Judge Mukasey was widely admired for his brilliance and his integrity. Mike has experience in the Justice Department and private practice, as well as having served on the bench. He served four years as an assistant United States attorney in Manhattan, where he tried many cases and he developed expertise in the workings of the criminal justice system. He's also worked as a partner in a law firm. And he holds degrees from Columbia University and Yale Law School. Some of Judge Mukasey's most important legal experience is in the area of national security. Judge Mukasey presided over the trial over the terrorist known as the Blind Sheik and his co-defendants in the conspiracy to destroy prominent New York City landmarks, including bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Before the 9/11 attacks, this was one of the most important terrorism cases in our nation's history. And the verdict in that case was affirmed on appeal. In affirming the convictions, the appeals court singled out the judge for praise. I found it very interesting of what they said. Here's what they wrote: The Honorable Michael B. Mukasey presided with extraordinary skill and patience, assuring fairness to the prosecution and to each defendant, and helpfulness to the jury. His was an outstanding achievement in the face of challenges far beyond those normally endured by a trial judge. When the World Trade Center was attacked again, Judge Mukasey quickly reopened his court, even though it was just blocks from ground zero. He recognized the importance of maintaining a functioning justice system in the midst of a national emergency. He and other judges in his district worked day and night to ensure that applications for warrants were processed, investigations could proceed and the rule of law was upheld. Judge Mukasey's clear-eyed about the threat our nation faces. As a judge and a private lawyer, he's written on matters of constitutional law and national security. He knows what it takes to fight this war effectively, and he knows how to do it in a manner that's consistent with our laws and our Constitution. And when confirmed by the Senate as attorney general, he will work to ensure that our law enforcement and intelligence officers have the tools they need to protect the United States and our citizens. When he takes his place at the Department of Justice, he will succeed another fine judge, Alberto Gonzales. From his days as supreme court justice in Texas to his years as White House counsel and as attorney general of the United States, this honorable and decent man has served with distinction. I've known Al and his family for more than a decade.
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