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December 1, 2008

President-Elect Obama officially names Eric Holder as his AG pick

As detailed in this CQ Politics entry, the likely next U.S. Attorney General was officially named today: "President-elect Barack Obama on Monday tapped former Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to take the top spot in the Justice Department."  Here are some other notable snippets from the CQ report:

Holder would be the first black attorney general.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will vet Holder for the post.  Several Republicans on the panel have already voiced support for him.

To be sure, Holder will face renewed questions about his role in Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich in 2001.  Rich’s ex-wife, Denise, donated heavily to Democratic causes, including Clinton’s presidential library and Hillary Rodham Clinton ’s 2000 Senate campaign. Holder signed off on the pardon.  Holder told the House Government Reform Committee in early 2001, “It is now clear, and this is admittedly hindsight, that we, at the Justice Department, and more importantly, former President Clinton, the American public, in the cause of justice, would have been better served if the case had been handled through the normal channels.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy , D-Vt., has said that Clinton, not Holder, bears the responsibility for the Rich pardon. Leahy has predicted a “lopsided vote” to confirm Holder.

Just in time for this long-predicted announcement is this profile of Holder in today's New York Times and this editorial about the Justice Department in today's Washington Post.

Some prior posts on the Obama transition, the Holder pick and federal criminal justice issues:

December 1, 2008 at 12:02 PM | Permalink


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Leahy is a partisan hack. The issue is not the ultimate responsibility for the pardon, but Holder's actions. Holder was currying favor with Quinn so that he had a chance to be AG in a Gore Administration. That's a problem. But hey, he's probably got better ethics than Saint Obama. Holder, to my knowledge, didn't have his buddies help him purchase his own home.

Posted by: federalist | Dec 1, 2008 1:05:18 PM

Okay.. Federalist is a hipster trying to be ironic.

Posted by: S.cotus | Dec 1, 2008 1:15:56 PM

I agree with Federalist. Anyone who has worked in the executive branch knows that a superior (Clinton) will sign off on most of what is approved by his staff. By approving Rich's pardon, Holder exhibited atrocious judgment at best.

Posted by: mjs | Dec 1, 2008 4:24:06 PM

Oh really? I know Fifty people in the Clinton administration that say that Clinton did not rubber-stamp anything. Therefore, you are wrong.

Also, the Rich pardon was not "presented" to Clinton by Holder.

Also, I don't think you know what Rich was accused of, anyway.

Posted by: S.cotus | Dec 1, 2008 11:48:07 PM

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