Hagel 2005: OK To Hold Up Confirmation If 'Serious Allegations' Not Answered

"On Bolton: You know that we had a committee meeting to vote him out [i.e. to the full Senate]. You know that we decided to take three additional weeks to investigate the new allegations and charges that have come in. I said, at the time, on the record, in the committee, and many times publicly: these are very serious allegations, and they deserve serious attention. And we should not move forward until we address these allegations....I have always taken the approach, and I think in the nine years I have been in the Senate I have only voted against one senior member of an administration's Cabinet. That if it comes down to a line call, a subjective call--and some of these do--I give the benefit of the doubt to the president, whether it's Clinton, or Bush, or whoever the president [is]. He won the election, he deserves his team. I may not think this guy is the right guy, I may not think he's got the skills, if I was president, I may not nominate him, but I'm not the president....If there's something deep enough there that truly disqualifies him, in some personal way or professional way, than I have to do the right thing: vote against my party and against my president. And I will do that if there's something there that I think is serious enough."

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