Shorter Daily Bolton: Powell surrogate to testify, Condi continues to stonewall.
Just what is up with Colin Powell? Is he not man enough to testify himself?
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff prepared to interview former secretary of state Colin L. Powell’s chief of staff today as bipartisan harmony on the committee became increasingly frayed over Democratic requests for documents, interviews and other materials related to John R. Bolton’s nomination as U.N. ambassador.
Democrats view Larry Wilkerson, a longtime Powell aide who has been publicly critical of Bolton, as an important guide to Powell’s thinking and actions about key incidents being investigated by the committee, a Democratic aide said. Alone among living former Republican secretaries of state, Powell has pointedly refused to endorse Bolton and privately told some senators he had concerns about Bolton’s judgment.
Meanwhile, the historically bipartisan Foreign Relations Committee has become increasingly divided along party lines as the committee staff raced to prepare for a May 12 hearing to consider the Bolton nomination. Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) has allocated five hours for debate, and staff members had hoped to complete interviews and a review of documents by today.
But the senior Democrat, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), wrote to Secretary Condoleezza Rice yesterday to warn that Democrats may seek to delay the vote if documents and other materials he had requested are not produced. “My Democratic colleagues and I would consider the failure to produce the requested documents in a timely manner a lack of cooperation,” Biden said.