Key Senate Panel Chairman to Vote Against Attorney General Nominee Mukasey

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Friday he won't support Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, potentially derailing his confirmation over complaints that he hasn't taken a full enough stand against torture.

"No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is torture," said U.S. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.. He planned an afternoon news conference to make the announcement in Burlington.

Sliding support among the panel's Democrats makes it less likely the full Senate will vote to send Mukasey to a Justice Department that has been leaderless for weeks. Four Democrats on Leahy's panel, which will decide Tuesday whether to approve Mukasey's confirmation, have already said they will not support him.