Hagan moves to replace Holding as U.S. Attorney; Burr not yet ready

McClatchy NewspapersJune 3, 2011 

WASHINGTON — Moments after John Edwards was indicted this morning, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan sent the “blue slip” to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the man she wants to become the next U.S. Attorney for North Carolina’s Eastern District.

But her counterpart, Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, isn’t ready to do the same.

“Senator Burr thinks that Thomas Walker is highly qualified for the position and will return his blue slip once all ongoing investigations have been completed, but an indictment does not mean the end of an investigation,” said Burr’s spokesman, David Ward.

Hagan, a Democrat, and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, had held up the nomination of Walker, saying they wanted current U.S. Attorney George Holding to finish his investigation of Edwards.

With this morning’s indictment, Hagan said, that investigation is now complete.

Burr and Hagan had indicated earlier this week that they wanted to move quickly on replacing Holding once his investigations of public officials is complete.

“It is now time to move forward expeditiously with the nomination of Thomas Walker for U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina,” Hagan said this morning in her statement.

“In the interest of avoiding even the appearance of partisanship in federal prosecutions, I also asked the White House to allow the sitting U.S. Attorney to complete pending investigationsinto public officials,” Hagan said. “Finally, those investigations are complete.” She continued: “Today, I forwarded Mr. Walker’s blue slip to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will expedite his nomination to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.”

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