IMAGE: A.G. nominee Michael Mukasey
Matthew Cavanaugh  /  EPA
President Bush's nominee for Attorney General, Judge Michael Mukasey, is expected to face little opposition during his confirmation hearings.
updated 10/11/2007 9:00:41 AM ET 2007-10-11T13:00:41

The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced confirmation hearings for President Bush's attorney general nominee will begin next week.

The October 17th start date comes exactly a month after Michael Mukasey was named to replace Alberto Gonzales.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy says hearings will focus on what he calls the Justice Department's "plummeting morale" under Gonzales' leadership.

Other lawmakers say other topics will include the administration's legal basis for Bush's controversial eavesdropping program. Hearings may also probe to what extent Mukasey would let the White House dictate political decisions to the traditionally independent agency.

Communications between members of Congress, the White House and the Justice Department became the basis for Congress' recent probe into the firing of nine federal prosecutors.

Mukasey's confirmation is expected to face little opposition.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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