Update (12:15pm EST): Attorney General Michael Mukasey says he expects to be released from the hospital and be back on the job within hours after collapsing during a late-night speech.
The nation's chief law enforcement official on Friday e-mailed Justice Department employees to let them know he feels fine.
Mukasey said that all tests have come back with good results and wrote that he would be back at the Justice Department on Friday afternoon.
U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey was hospitalized but conscious and alert early Friday after collapsing during a late-night speech to a conservative legal group.
It was not clear when the nation's 67-year-old chief law enforcer would be released from George Washington University Hospital, where he was admitted overnight for observation after briefly losing consciousness at the black-tie dinner.
Justice Department spokesman Gina Talamona would not comment when asked if Mukasey suffered a stroke. She had no information about his medical history.
Mukasey opened his speech on terrorism with a wry remark about expecting the mood at the conservative Federalist Society dinner to be "somber or sober." He slumped over the podium about 15 minutes later after slurring his words and could be seen swaying and shaking slightly. Three or four men in suits rushed on stage and caught him at the lectern.
"Oh, no, no!" people in the audience cried out as Mukasey fell. "Oh, my God!"
Mukasey, a retired federal judge, is President George W. Bush's third attorney general. The flinty but measured New Yorker has said the job initially discouraged him, and he has scaled back his public appearances in recent weeks.
A former prosecutor who saw Mukasey hours earlier described the attorney general as tired-looking and drawn.
Justice spokesman Peter Carr said Mukasey did not transfer his power to Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip.
"The attorney general is conscious, conversant and alert," Carr said after Mukasey was hospitalized. "His vital statistics are strong and he is in good spirits."
Talamona said Mukasey's wife, Susan, was with him at the hospital.
After collapsing, Mukasey lay on the stage for about 10 minutes being attended to by his FBI security detail and medical personnel at the dinner, said eyewitness Abigail Thernstrom, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Though he lost consciousness initially, Mukasey appeared to be awake when he was taken from the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in northwest Washington, she said.
"It was hard to watch such a thing," Thernstrom said. "It was horrible."
A Republican staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jack Daly, who was also at the dinner, said in an e-mail to colleagues sent at 10:20 p.m. EST: "AG Mukasey collapsed in the middle of his keynote address at tonight's fed-soc dinner. He is still on stage after ten minutes and his security detail has called 911. The paramedics just arrived."
Twenty minutes later, Daly added in another e-mail: "Mukasey did regain consciousness before he was taken away."
President George W. Bush, scheduled to attend a weekend financial summit in Peru, was informed about Mukasey's collapse, press secretary Dana Perino said.
"The president has him in his thoughts and will be kept apprised and hopes that he will be back up and at 'em again soon," she said.
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