From NBC's Elissa Davis
Dodd became the first senator to officially speak out against Bush's nominee for Attorney General in a conference call earlier today with reporters. Unlike others, who have complained about Mukasey's ambiguous stance on waterboarding, Dodd said his opposition is over presidential power. The president and the executive branch should not be able to trump statutes as a matter of national security, Dodd said.
"This statement is far more troubling than those on torture," Dodd said. "As important as those are, this is far more troubling. The suggestion that the President as some penumbra to be above the law is a very troubling statement." He expressed strong opposition to Mukasey, outlining that if he were to be confirmed, his statement would set the precedent that "any President would be able claim at any time that something was a national security issue; it would open Pandora's Box," Dodd said. "This ought to bother everyone. No one is above the law, a first-year law student would know how fundamental this is."
Dodd said presidential power was part of the problem with Alberto Gonzales. Dodd said he hopes both Democrats and Republicans would be as concerned as he is and block Mukasey. Dodd added though that he would not go so far as to filibuster the nomination, which is why he's raising the issue now, because as far as he knows it is "99 to1."