Senate confirms judge linked to Benghazi scandal

The Senate confirmed four of President Obama’s executive and judicial nominees Thursday. 

Theodore Chuang and George Hazel will serve as U.S. district judges for Maryland. The Senate voted 53-42 on Chuang’s nomination and 95-0 on Hazel’s.

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Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he couldn’t support Chuang’s nomination because he helped the Obama administration “stonewall” Congress on the investigation of the death of four Americans at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.

“I can’t support his nomination because of the central role Mr. Chuang played in the administration’s efforts to stonewall an investigation into the situation in Benghazi,” Grassley said. “These questions remain unanswered because the administration refuses to recognize the rights of congressional oversight.”

Chuang provided legal counsel to the State Department and Department of Homeland Security.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) defended Chuang, saying he was only doing his job and Grassley’s “beef” was really with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I’m kind of tired of this Benghazi witch hunt stuff,” Mikulski said. “He did not have decision making authority as to whether to provide documents to the committee. That decision came from higher up.”

The Senate also confirmed Janice Schneider to be an assistant secretary of the Interior on a 64-32 vote.

Senators confirmed Suzan LeVine to be U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein by voice vote.

Those are expected to be the last votes of the week for the Senate. Two more nomination votes are scheduled for next Monday.

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