March 08, 2005

CRAPO VOTES TO CONFIRM GONZALES

First Hispanic U.S. Attorney General confirmed today

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted today to confirm Alberto Gonzales as the U.S. Attorney General. The final vote in the U.S. Senate was 60 to 36. Gonzales most recently served as White House Counsel to President Bush. â??Todayâ??s vote has been the focus of much protest and media reporting, and I fully reject the characterization that the vote is about the issue of torture,â?? Crapo explained. â??Like the President and Alberto Gonzales, I condemn torture and my record in Congress is clear in my support of promoting human rights abroad. Alberto Gonzales is eminently qualified for this position; his entire professional life has demonstrated a respect for and a devotion to the rule of law. Much has been said in the media about his alleged remarks regarding torture; but his record is clearâ??he has clearly, consistently and forcefully stated that he does not condone torture. He has further stated that he would, as Attorney General, prosecute those who engage in torture. â?? Crapo also noted that reports that Gonzales authored a 2002 memorandum that stated that certain acts were not â??tortureâ?? are inaccurate. According to the Office of Legal Counsel, the memo was not authored by Gonzales and contains the Justice Departmentâ??s interpretation of the torture statute, not Gonzalesâ??. â??Furthermore, there is nothing in that memo that changed the Presidentâ??s directive that detainees be treated humanely,â?? Crapo said. â??Judge Gonzales has made it clear as well that he does not consider anyone, including the President, to be above the law. Throughout the confirmation hearing process, he has been consistent and measured in his responses, even in the face of heinous allegations. Alberto Gonzalesâ?? confirmation as the U.S. Attorney is a remarkable achievement and I expect his service to our country will be outstanding.â?? # # # FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov/radio/.