Transcript of Reporters Roundtable Discussion With Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey

WASHINGTON , Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of a reporters roundtable discussion with Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey : 10:35 A.M. EST ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Good morning...


QUESTION: So the department turned a corner when you came aboard, in effect?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I'm not prepared to say that. I think the department functioned well.

QUESTION: Judging by all accounts, the number of people who attend this coming inauguration will be just enormous and possibly the biggest crowd ever. In that sense, will we see the largest amount of security ever for a public event in America? We love phrases like that, you know.

(Laughter.)

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I know you do, and I am also not qualified to comment on phrases like that.

QUESTION: Well, come up with your own.

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: There will be plenty of security. There will be a lot of people, there will be plenty of security. It will be secure.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: That's not going to make it, Judge. I'm going to try again. As you look at the -- Seriously, though, as you look at the planning for it, do you get the sense that in response to the anticipated crowd that there is a lot of additional resources that will be brought in that haven't been in past years?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Fair to say. I have not looked in detail at the plan, but my understanding is that there is going to be plenty of security.

QUESTION: Are you planning to attend?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Not right now, no.

QUESTION: One of the things that you said were going to be priorities were the civil rights and voting rights issues, and we have just gone through a big election where we have recorded lots of votes. Can you give us an assessment of how that relates to the fact that you will be (inaudible) voter fraud policies or anything like that?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I can't comment on what lawsuits may or may not be brought. I can't comment on matters under investigation. I think the election went by and large well, which is to say, from our standpoint, by and large uneventfully, which is good news for us. There have been allegations of voter fraud in particular places and those are taken seriously.

QUESTION: Were those overblown?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I'm not going to comment on whether they were overblown or underblown or whatever. We take allegations of voter fraud seriously, and they are followed up.

QUESTION: Judge, what have you learned about Washington in your -- what is it? Has it been year and a half? Almost 18 months? -- and what do you wish you hadn't learned?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: It is an interesting town. I think people are cordial. Some people are friendly.

QUESTION: What has been your favorite place to go when you have a free hour? Is there a museum, a national park, the monuments, some place that you have --

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: The one I have enjoyed the most is the Archives.

QUESTION: Do you wish you had done more (inaudible) while you were attorney?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Oh god.

(Laughter.)

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I wish I had the time to do more. I have run into people, but, you know, I haven't --

MODERATOR: We have time for, perhaps, two more questions.

QUESTION: You have experience arguing in front of the Supreme Court. Congratulations on winning the case. How did the --

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: There was a --

QUESTION: How did that come about and was it the experience that you had expected it would be?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I didn't have any real window -- Well actually, I had watched two arguments when I was first presented to the Court, and it came about, as I recall it, on a ride back, the Solicitor General said 'You know, some Attorneys General have made a custom or arguing -- or a practice of arguing a case in the Court. Would you like to do that?' Gulp, yes. So the cap was over the wall and that became a matter of selecting the case.

QUESTION: And the experience of being there in front of the --