. . .so reports Vicki Allen in a new Reuters report.
Here is the opener:
Senate Democrats back from a weeklong recess said on Tuesday they were holding firm against allowing a vote to confirm John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations until the Bush administration turns over more information on him.
“I think the support is just as strong as it was,” Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate minority whip, said after a meeting of Democratic senators.
In the Senate’s last act before leaving for its Memorial Day break, Democrats mustered enough support to block a final vote on Bolton, who they said tried to misuse U.S. intelligence and intimidated or tried to remove intelligence analysts who did not conform to his hard-line views.
Democrats demand the administration turn over more classified material on Bolton, but the White House has refused and accused Democrats of using partisan delaying tactics.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said he expected to proceed with Bolton’s nomination “very soon,” but could not say “with certainty” when that would be. He has accused Democrats of using a procedural hurdle called a filibuster to block the confirmation vote.
“I would hope that the Bolton situation is not a standoff,” said Senate Minority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. “I hope the president recognizes that he has an obligation” to provide the material, he said.
On Lieberman, Vicki Allen reports:
One of the Democrats the White House is trying to enlist, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, said he was sticking with his colleagues’ demands for the information.
“I remain undecided on how I would vote on the Bolton nomination itself but I do think this is a point of principle for the Senate and the public’s right to know,” he said.
And Senator Dodd hits one out of the park on White House obstruction on the Bolton documents:
“This is now beyond Mr. Bolton. It’s about whether the Senate should have a right to certain information pertaining to a nominee,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat.
Dodd offered a compromise in which the administration would confirm whether certain names were on the NSA intercepts Bolton asked to see. Democrats said they were trying to determine whether Bolton requested the classified intercepts to exact retribution on his opponents.
Dodd said the administration rejected the offer.
I think that this is all quite a good response to those naysayers who see the Bolton Battle ending quickly.
We win with time — and the more this process is tortured by White House high-handed tactics — the more difficult it becomes for Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, Mike DeWine, Lisa Murkowski, Chuck Hagel, and others to vote in favor of Bolton’s nomination.
— Steve Clemons