US attorney general collapses, hospitalised

November 21, 2008 12:00 am

, WASHINGTON, November 21 – US Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed while giving a speech late in Washington and was rushed to hospital, where he is conscious and "in good spirits," a Justice Department official said.

Mukasey, 67, was giving remarks to an annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a conservative group, when he took ill.

"Upon his collapse, emergency first aid was rendered by the attorney general’s security detail and a doctor who was on the scene" before he was taken to George Washington University hospital, Peter Carr, acting director of public affairs, said in a statement.

"The attorney general is conscious, conversant and alert. His vital statistics are strong and he is in good spirits," Carr said, adding that doctors will keep him overnight for further observations.

CNN had reported that Mukasey’s speech became slurred and he then went rigid while giving his address, prompting two people to grab him and lay him on the floor behind the podium as people rushed to his aid.

Mukasey became attorney general in September 2007, when President George W. Bush appointed him to replace the scandal-plagued Alberto Gonzalez.

Prior to the appointment he had carved out a no-nonsense reputation during his 18 years as a federal judge in New York, and oversaw several high-profile cases including the 1995 trial of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the "Blind Sheikh" who was sentenced to life in jail for plotting to blow up New York landmarks, including the United Nations.


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