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  •  Gonzales's office did the vetting (none)
    Oh yeah, he is going to be a Great Attorney General. Not.

    By Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, December 12, 2004; Page A01

    White House officials yesterday blamed Bernard B. Kerik for repeatedly failing to disclose potential legal problems to administration lawyers vetting his nomination to be homeland security secretary, as President Bush prepared to quickly name a replacement and try to put the controversy over the former New York police commissioner's background behind him.

    Kerik, who withdrew his own nomination Friday and apologized yesterday for embarrassing Bush, was asked numerous times by White House lawyers if he had employed an illegal immigrant or failed to pay taxes on domestic help, the sources said.
    Kerik was told he would humiliate his family, himself and the president if he lied on either account, the officials said. He responded with firm denials. After digging deeper, however, Kerik said he discovered last week that he might have a problem on both accounts and withdrew his name.

    In the vetting process, which was conducted by the office of White House counsel ALBERTO R. GONZALES, Kerik also never mentioned that a New Jersey judge had issued a warrant for his arrest in 1998 over a civil dispute over unpaid bills, the sources said. The existence of the dispute was first reported by Newsweek Friday night.

    It is unclear why White House lawyers could not uncover a warrant that Newsweek discovered after a few days of research, although some are blaming Bush's insistence on speed and secrecy for failing to catch this and other potential red flags in Kerik's background.

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