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Senate Democrats balk at Bolton nomination again after memo hearing

[JURIST] Senate Democrats refused a Republican compromise over the nomination of John Bolton [JURIST report] as US ambassador to the UN Thursday, demanding more information than GOP leadership offered on his pre-Iraq war assessments of several countries' weapons programs. Democrats want materials from preparations for Bolton's Congressional testimony on Syria's weapons and classified National Security Agency intercepts, basing their demands on the "Downing Street Memo" [London Times copy], leaked in the British press in May and subject of an unofficial hearing held Thursday [Pacifica Radio MP3 audio archive] by House Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat John Conyers. The memo raised questions about the amount and quality of intelligence the US and UK actually had before invading Iraq. According to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, "Concerns about this administration hyping intelligence and Great Britain hyping intelligence cannot be dismissed lightly . . . [it] is no small matter for us to learn whether Mr. Bolton was a party to other efforts to hype intelligence." Republicans hope that, because of the continued delay of the Bolton vote [JURIST report], the Democrats will be seen as obstructionists. Observers say Republicans need two more votes to in order to end the debate on the nomination. Following that procedural vote, a simple majority would confirm Bolton. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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