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While Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, said Luger’s report on the RNC arrests should have come down harder on the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and federal agencies, he approved of the choice.
“Do I think he’s competent? Yes,” Samuelson said. “Do I think he demonstrates good judgment? Yes. Do I agree with him all the time? No.”
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Luger said the U.S. attorney “plays a critical role in ensuring justice for and protecting the safety of all Minnesotans,” and vowed to work closely with local and state officials.
Former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug, who was recently appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, said Luger “would be a very strong nomination,” Lillehaug said. “I saw firsthand Andy Luger’s tenacity and commitment to justice when he served as an assistant U.S. attorney.”
Jon Hopeman, a former assistant U.S. attorney, describes Luger as productive and effective. “He has good peripheral vision,” Hopeman said. “In other words, he sees all of the picture … You never know until you give someone a lot of power, how they’re going to be. But I think he’ll be fine.”
‘A team player’
Tom Heffelfinger, who was the Minnesota U.S. attorney under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, served on a committee that interviewed the U.S. attorney candidates. He called Luger a “team player” with the “qualifications and skills necessary to excel in this position.”
Heffelfinger also has defended Jones against GOP attacks in the Senate. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has questioned Jones’ handling of a whistleblower complaint brought by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Paulsen.
On Monday, Grassley said that despite his reservations he is unlikely to try to block Jones’ nomination. Under Senate rules, however, any senator could object, possibly forcing a filibuster.
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