Democrats on the committee said they were continuing to receive fresh allegations of Bolton behavior that was imperious or worse.
Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the senior Democrat on the panel, read from what he said was a letter from a U.S. Agency for International Development worker in Kyrgyzstan who alleged Bolton harassed her - not sexually - while he was in private practice representing a company.
'She's prepared to provide an affidavit. The letter she sent in, and I'm going to just take a second here, it says, `When I was dispatching a letter to AID, my hell began. Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel, throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door, and genuinely behaving like a madman. I eventually retreated to my hotel room and stayed there. Mr. Bolton then routinely visited me to pound on the door and shout threats.''
The committee's delay was a surprise, coming after the White House expressed fresh support for Bolton and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid all but conceded the nomination would be cleared for a floor vote.
Handicapping Bolton's chances of confirmation in advance, Reid said it was possible Democrats would try to block it if Republicans pushed ahead with their plans.
The committee's decision left the timetable unclear, but a two-week delay seemed to be the minimum that could be expected.
Well, let's get this out in the open and have some hearings of the "He said, she said," kind--Kyrgyzstan in the news again. From the letter, I'd say it doesn't really look like Bolton did anything terribly bad--but who knows? The hearings might be the "Tulip Revolution" meets "Anita Hill." I hope that at the hearing we'll find out exactly what the alleged crime Bolton's accuser allegedly might have gone to prison for, relating to USAID contracts, really was...
We might remember that Clarence Thomas was confirmed after far more embarrassing charges had been levelled.