The Justice Department used some of its most intrusive tactics against Eliot Spitzer, examining his financial records, eavesdropping on his phone calls and tailing him during its criminal investigation of the Emperor’s Club prostitution ring.
President Bush’s nominee for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, declined Thursday to say if he considered harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding, which simulates drowning, to constitute torture or to be illegal if used on terrorism suspects.
White House officials said Wednesday that the search for a successor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales would probably last at least several days. The officials said they were trying to strike a conciliatory tone with Senate Democratic leaders who will control the confirmation.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced his resignation on Monday, ending a stormy tenure at the Justice Department that was marked by repeated battles with Congress over whether he had allowed his intense personal loyalty to President Bush to overwhelm his responsibilities to the law.