Durbin Urges No Vote On DOT General Counsel Nominee Steven Bradbury

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on the nomination of Steven Bradbury, a former George W. Bush administration official who authored several of the infamous “torture memos,” to be General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

“The Senate refused to confirm Mr. Bradbury once before because of his role in promulgating torture techniques.  The poor judgment Mr. Bradbury demonstrated raises serious questions about whether he should be entrusted with the responsibility of reviewing the legality of any federal Cabinet agency’s policies.  Mr. Bradbury has not shown the professionalism needed for a lawyer in an executive branch agency, who must be prepared to stand up for the rule of law when the Administration proposes inappropriate or illegal actions.”

Durbin, as Senate Democratic Whip and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led the opposition to the nomination of Steven Bradbury to be Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice for more than three years during the George W. Bush Administration.  Mr. Bradbury was never confirmed because of widespread concern about memos he authored that permitted the use of abusive interrogation techniques like waterboarding.  One Bradbury memo was approved over the objection of then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who said the Department of Justice would be “ashamed” if the memo became public.  Then-President Obama withdrew all of Mr. Bradbury’s torture memos on his second day in office.