White House defends Homeland Security nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House’s top lawyer is defending President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the No. 2 official at the Department of Homeland Security.

White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler says in a letter that the White House has no concerns about Alejandro Mayorkas’ “suitability” for the post. Mayorkas is facing questions from a Senate panel about an investigation into his role in helping a company run by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother secure a foreign investor visa.

Ruemmler’s letter is addressed to Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

Ruemmler also says the White House followed standard procedures in vetting Mayorkas for the job. She also urges the Senate to confirm him swiftly.

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