Daily Briefing: 'Leapt into an Abyss'
• Prosecutor expands investigation of DeLay to include election expenditures. [WP]
• Senate Democrats tell Samuel Alito to anticipate tough questions at his confirmation hearings; lawmakers "competing madly to prejudge the judge," says Dana Milbank. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.): "Judge Alito has more to answer for than any other Supreme Court nominee in memory." [WP, NYT, WP, WT]
• Few heated comments were exchanged when Bush met with 13 former secretaries of state and defense; Colin Powell remained silent. Ari Fleischer: "I think [Bush is] now testing whether enough time and bitterness have passed since the parties, and the country, were so deeply split during the 2004 campaign." [WP, NYT, USAT]
• Sen. Specter (R-Penn.) to tackle complexities of presidential powers during wartime in upcoming hearings on NSA eavesdropping. [WSJ]
• Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, defends NSA eavesdropping program. [NYT]
•Robin Givhan on Jack Abramoff: "He has leapt into an abyss of ill-fitting coats, mobster flourishes and Peter Pan headgear. The once high-flying dealmaker is going down, and there is nothing dignified about the descent." [WP]
• Charities bask in the flow of Abramoff-tainted funds. [NYT]