President Obama's pick to lead the Transportation Security Administration has provided Congress inconsistent reports about — and regrets for — running background checks on his then-estranged wife's boyfriend two decades ago.
Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent whose nomination has been delayed by Republicans for unrelated concerns, wrote to senators in November to correct what he called a distortion of his record. The delayed nomination has received renewed attention since the failed Christmas Day attack on an airliner bound from Amsterdam to Detroit.
"I am distressed by the inconsistencies between my recollection and the contemporaneous documents, but I assure you that the mistake was inadvertent, and that I have at all times taken full responsibility for what I know to have been a grave error in judgment," he wrote in a letter to Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins.
The man abused his authority by accessing and distributing confidential records of his estranged wife's boyfriend. This isn't the kind of person you want heading a surveillance and security agency.