Sen. Specter: Telecom immunity is 'festering wound'
Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he is prepared to move forward with the confirmation of Barack Obama's Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, who he hopes will help "reprofessionalize" the Justice Department.
Specter, who has been among the most vocal critics within President Bush's party, criticized former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for politicizing the department.
The Pennsylvania Republican also criticized some of the president's policies in the war on terror.
"This business of wiretapping is not in order in accordance with Constitutional rights and where you have the immunity granted to the telephone companies," Specter told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Wednesday. "That is still a festering wound and some speculation as to whether that will be asserted by a new administration."
Congress passed an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act this summer that included retroactive legal immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in the president's warrantless surveillance of Americans. Obama said he was against immunity but nonetheless supported the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the Senate will revisit the FISA update when it considers renewing the Patriot Act later next year.s
This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast Nov. 19, 2008.
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