Josh Rogin reports that the continued delays over the nomination of National Security Council adviser Michael McFaul to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia has compelled a number of conservatives to defend McFaul, including a number of think tankers.

“We have known and worked closely with Mike for many years and have the highest regard for his professionalism and his dedication to American interests and ideals. He is one of America’s leading experts on democracy and has been a tireless promoter of democracy in Russia and elsewhere around the world,” wrote former Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman, former Assistant Secretaries of State David Merkel and Stephen Rademaker, former NSC Director Jamie Fly, Freedom House President David Kramer, former Rumsfeld and McCain advisor Randy Scheunemann, and the Brookings Institution fellow Robert Kagan.

Hoover still considers McFaul a part of the think tank’s list of fellows, but “on leave,” according to the Hoover Web site.