Mukasey: "Clean Bill of Health"

By  | 

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Michael Mukasey was given "a clean bill of health" and hoped to check out of the hospital after extensive medical tests following his collapse, the Justice Department said Friday.

Departmental spokeswoman Gina Talamona said that the 67-year-old Mukasey underwent a host of exams after being admitted late Thursday to George Washington University Hospital after he collapsed during a speech at a Washington hotel.

"The results are in. Everything looks great," Talamona told reporters gathered outside the hospital in late morning. She reported that that Mukasey had passed a treadmill stress test, a stress echocardiogram, and an MRI. She also said doctors ruled out a stroke or cardiac problem.

"He's in good shape," she said, adding that Mukasey hoped to be able to leave the hospital some time later Friday.

Talamona said the physicians specifically had ruled out TIA - or transient ischemic attack - which is a mini-stroke.

Neither she nor other Mukasey aides would say specifically whether the attorney general would fly home to New York for the weekend or remain in Washington.

Talamona said earlier that at no time had Mukasey transferred his authority to his deputy during the period when he was stricken at a dinner of The Federalist Society and during his time in the hospital through the night and into Friday.

"There's no indication that he suffered a stroke or any heart-related incident," she said earlier. "It really appears to be a fainting spell."

President Bush telephoned the attorney general to wish him a speedy recovery, press secretary Dana Perino said, describing Mukasey as "sounding well" and saying he was getting "excellent care."

Talamona noted that Mukasey had had a very busy day before going to a Washington hotel to give the keynote speech to a black-tie dinner of society, a conservative-oriented legal group. During the talk, he began to slur his words, nodded, turned and started to collapse when he was caught by men standing nearby.