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Breaking: Corruption-plagued US Atty nominee Stephanie Villafuerte withdraws

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 14, 2009 04:49 PM

In October, I called your attention to the smelly US Attorney nomination out of Colorado involving Stephanie Villafuerte (see here and here).

Looks like the stonewall that the Dems and DOJ built for her has collapsed under the weight of local and state pressure — compounded by tough questions from the Denver Post’s Karen Crummy and GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions and constant pounding by KHOW talk show host Peter Boyles.

She has now withdrawn her nomination. But the questions will not go away:

Stephanie Villafuerte has withdrawn her name from consideration to become Colorado’s next U.S. Attorney.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, who nominated her for the post, and Attorney General Eric Holder, Villafuerte said she was confident she would have “served well in this important position” but was withdrawing because of “political attacks” surrounding her role in the 2006 Colorado gubernatorial campaign.

“Unforunately, a needless and extraneous political fight has emerged in Colorado and that fight, in my judgment has completely overshadowed the deliberative and independent assessment of my qualifications for this important office,” Villafuerte wrote. “I continue to stand by my statements and maintain that my involvement was appropriate at all times.”

The move comes two days after U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked that consideration of her nomination as Colorado U.S. attorney be delayed because her record is “incomplete.”

In a letter to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sessions said he wanted answers from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about why Cory Voorhis, an immigration agent, was fired for accessing the same restricted database that Villafuerte’s former colleagues also accessed. Sessions said after asking those questions that he also became concerned that Villafuerte’s record was not complete.

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall said he was disappointed by Villfuerte’s “very personal” decision.

“I had a positive conversation with Senator Jeff Sessions, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Saturday morning in which we both agreed that the confirmation process for this office could, and should, be framed to resolve any remaining questions he or other Members of the Judiciary Committee might want to put to the U.S. Attorney nominee,” Udall said in a statement released by his office.

“Despite these assurances from Senator Sessions and despite Stephanie’s willingness to answer questions by the Judiciary Committee, it’s clear to me that a further delay in the confirmation is not good for Colorado or the office of U.S. Attorney. Stephanie has made a decision in the best interests of the office she hoped to serve, and I respect her for it.”

More to come…

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