Arlen Specter was one of two senators who missed new Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s confirmation vote Tuesday, but it didn’t matter. Chertoff was confirmed 98 to 0. (Democrat Max Baucus of Montana was the other senator who missed the vote.) Chertoff sailed through after Sen. Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) agreed to drop an objection stemming from the Justice Department’s refusal to release a classified FBI memo on terror interrogations. Chertoff, a counsel to the Senate’s Whitewater Committee in the 1990s, even won the backing of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.), who had previously voted against his confirmation to be an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department and again when he was up for a federal appeals court judgeship.
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