AG nom Holder: Marc Rich pardon makes me better

Posted on January 15, 2009

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In his confirmation hearing today, Attorney General hopeful Eric Holder had to defend his support of the pardon of Marc Rich. Here’s what he had to say:

I’ve learned from that experience and as perverse as this might sound, I will be a better AG having had the Marc Rich experience.”

A better analysis can be found by the authors of Justice Undone (heads-up from MM):

Holder has failed to offer any credible justification for his support of the Rich pardon, leading the Committee to believe that Holder had other motivations for his decision, which he has failed to share with the Committee.

Eric Holder was seeking Jack Quinn’s support to be appointed as Attorney General in a potential Gore Administration, and this may have affected Holder’s judgment in the Rich matter. On several occasions, Holder sought out Quinn’s endorsement to be appointed as Attorney General if Al Gore were to win the November 2000 election. Quinn was a Gore confidant whose endorsement would carry great weight. Holder’s initial help to Quinn in the Rich matter predated the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore, and accordingly, Holder had some legitimate prospect of being appointed Attorney General when he was helping Quinn keep the Rich matter from the Justice Department’s scrutiny. While Holder denies
that his desire to be appointed Attorney General had anything to do with his actions in the Rich matter, it provides a much clearer and more believable motivation than any offered by Holder to date.

That makes more sense as to why Holder would go along with the pardon effort. Might have been just blind political ambition. Not good to see in the nation’s top law enforcement agent.

But we didn’t get any real examination of this or the FALN pardons. Instead, we get Sen. Kohl asking Holder if he’ll promise to beat Obama in basketball to raucous laughter. Whoa-ho, ain’t this a fun party! Meanwhile, we all lose.

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Posted in: Politics