Senator Lugar knows that yesterday’s hearings just made the Bolton confirmation process much more messy than expected. Lugar does not like messiness — and leans over backward to assure that there is fair play in his committee hearings.
Originally, there was a deal between Biden and Lugar that a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote would be held on Thursday this week. Lugar reached this agreement with Biden who wanted the hearings postponed from last Thursday because some Senators were in Rome for the Pope’s funeral.
However, yesterday’s hearings and Carl Ford’s testimony have wounded Bolton’s cause — and now there is a search for more damage done by Bolton in his last position. There are interviews planned with the many people Bolton intimidated, as well as a roster of people whom Bolton had fired — or pushed out.
There is also a roster of substantive policy questions that Senators want to pose to Bolton in written form that deal with the question of whether Bolton was consistent with Bush administration policy in many of his public statements, or working against it. Some senators want these questions answered by Bolton before voting on his nomination.
So, at the moment, a vote looks like it might occur next Tuesday — but it could be drawn out further.
Time is actually on the side of those doing the investigating — not those trying to cover up Bolton’s record.
— Steve Clemons