Veteran conservative columnist and pundit John Fund asserts in the Wall Street Journal today that the offices of Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales tried to block the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, RAW STORY has learned.
"A last minute effort was made to block the choice of Ms. Miers, including the offices of Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales," Fund claims. "It fell on deaf ears."
"Indeed, even internal advice was shunned," Fund adds. White House Chief of Staff Andrew "Card is said to have shouted down objections to Ms. Miers at staff meetings. A senator attending the White House swearing-in of John Roberts four days before the Miers selection was announced was struck by how depressed White House staffers were during discussion of the next nominee. He says their reaction to him could have been characterized as, "Oh brother, you have no idea what's coming."
Though he has stumped for Bush's nominee, Cheney has taken a lower profile in recent days. Last week, he skipped out of the 50th anniversary party for the National Review, a conservative heavyweight in Washington.
Cheney's chief spokesman, Steve Schmidt, recently left for Iraq, and his chief of staff is under investigation for talking to reporters about a CIA agent who was later outed by conservative columnist Robert Novak.
Some believe Cheney and Bush are at odds surrounding the leak investigation.
One conservative blogger attacked Fund's account, dismissing it as "rumor."
"I was surprised at how poorly this story was done," a poster at RedState.org wrote. "Maybe I'm letting my prejudices show, because I've made no secret of the fact that I think it's a good nomination. However this story just seemed to be a series of gossip pieces that Fund had picked up here or there... Fund doesn't say that Cheney or Gonzales were opposed, only he heard a rumor that someone in their office opposed."
The buzz in Washington is that Miers could withdraw, but such reports have not been confirmed. No senator has publicly opposed Miers nomination, though two Republican senators -- Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KN)-- have publicly expressed concern about the nominee.
Correction: The first edition of this article incorrectly identified one of the Republican senators who have questioned Miers. The two senators are Lott and Brownback.
Originally published on Thursday October 13, 2005.