Republican congressman favorite for drug post, sources say
WASHINGTON (AP) – Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, one of the House prosecutors in former President Clinton’s impeachment trial, is President Bush’s choice to head the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Three administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hutchinson’s nomination as head of the agency is expected to be announced in several days, barring a last-minute hitch in the background review process.
Hutchinson, 50, would succeed acting Director Donnie R. Marshall. The position is subject to Senate confirmation.
Hutchinson, a former federal prosecutor, is serving his third term from a heavily Republican district in northwest Arkansas. He is the brother of Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., who faces a stiff re-election campaign.
Asa Hutchinson found himself center stage during the impeachment of Clinton as one of the House prosecutors, and was among the managers of Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate.
A former chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, Hutchinson attended the University of Arkansas where he received a law degree.
The Drug Enforcement Agency is a part of the Department of Justice, and is at the forefront of U.S. drug interdiction efforts. It is separate from the Office of Drug Control Policy, which is a White House-based policy office.
Politically, Hutchinson’s record in the House has been that of a fiscal and social conservative, and he graduated from a fundamentalist Christian institution, Bob Jones University. However, he also has favored an overhaul of campaign finance laws, and that put him at odds with House GOP leaders on a key issue.
John C. Lawn, a former DEA administrator, has been reported under consideration by the Bush administration as a candidate to succeed Louis J. Freeh as FBI director.
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