Mukasey holds first news conference since collapse

December 3, 2008 10:45:13 AM PST
Attorney General Michael Mukasey appeared in good health Wednesday in his first news conference since collapsing during a speech Nov. 20.

Mukasey said he still doesn't know what caused his fainting spell. As he neared the end of his address, "the lights went out," he recalled. "I asked whether people were still in the room."

On other matters, the outgoing attorney general said the United States would have jurisdiction to prosecute the surviving terrorist captured during the deadly attack in Mumbai, India, where six Americans died. But he would not say whether there are plans to do so.

Mukasey also said he didn't believe the nation was more vulnerable to a terrorist attack during the presidential transition period, although security will be heavy for Barack Obama's inauguration.

"Terrorists will strike when they feel the moment is right, not according to the political calendar," he said. The United States has "all of the surveillance techniques we need to keep us safe," Mukasey added.

The attorney general said he has not yet spoken to the nominee named to succeed him, Eric Holder, but the current Justice Department officials are working with Obama's transition team.

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