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The Eric Holder Nomination Suddenly Becomes More Problematic

Pundits and politicians have been debating the Eric Holder nomination to head the Department of Justice since President Elect Obama sandwiched the announcementbetween the twin surprises of Hillary at State and Gates at Defense. That clever maneuver was clearly meant to deflect attention away from Holder's legacy as the man who had President's Clinton's back when he approved the pardon of America's most well known tax cheat, Marc Rich.

Holder, if you don't recall, had the final sign off on the Rich pardon that was sleazy even by Democrat Representative Henry Waxman's standards. Holder has since claimed ignorance:

"In the end, Holder told Congress he would have tried to stop the Rich pardon if he had known the full details of the fugitive financier's case. Holder said he did not pay much attention to Rich's case amid a flood of pardon requests that came to the Justice Department in Clinton's last days in office."

Fast forward eight years and consider that the same Eric Holder may be called upon as the new United States Attorney General to name a Special Prosecutor to investigate possible Federal corruption in the Blagojevich scandal.( And yes, I'm talking about "Advisor B" and possibly others named in theindictment.) The problem with these Special Prosecutors is that they often know who did what before they begin the process but are compelled to indict someone nonetheless.For example, Scooter Libby meets Richard Armitage.

Jeffrey Lord made an interesting remark about the last U S Senator (John Kennedy) elected president and his involvement in filling his vacant seat in the Senate:

"The notion that a newly elected president who is also a sitting U.S. Senator would have no "contact" whatsoever with the governor charged with appointing his Senate successor is a fantasy."

Read the whole article. It's a fascinating description of how JFK's Senate seat was essentially "parked" until his brother Ted came of age (32) and could run in the election. What makes me think Blagojevich, and many others, understood this?

Will Republican Senators demand that Holder appoint a Special Prosecutor? Will they forgo a thorough examination of the Rich pardon debacle in exchange for a Special Prosecutor? Or will they make the Blagojevich mess an issue in confirmation hearings?

Whatever happens we can be certain that "Advisor B" is considering all of these options since Candidate 5 felt compelled to hold a press conference today.



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Comments (1)

I'm certain that Obama and ... (Below threshold)

I'm certain that Obama and Blago the Ego talked regularly about who Obama's Senate replacement would be. However, it seems reasonable that Blago would not have told Obama about the graft scheme that he decided to attach to the appointment process. Sure, Blago seems nuts, but that would be stupid beyond belief.

I'll further give Obama the benefit of the doubt and argue that when he said "I haven't talked to Blagojevich," what he was trying to say is that he knew nothing about Blago's graft scheme. Unfortunately the way Obama said it made him look like he was lying and then deliberately trying to cover his tracks.

Your point is very good though -- it's difficult to appoint a party/administration insider to a position like AG, where that person will eventually be required to investigate the party/administration.






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