Eric Holder Next on the Hot Seat - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Eric Holder Next on the Hot Seat

Hillary Clinton got off easy.  Attorney General-designate Eric Holder is likely to have a rougher time tomorrow.  Reports ABC News:

Hillary Clinton may have received mostly cordial treatment in her confirmation hearing Tuesday, but Attorney General nominee Eric Holder may not be so lucky. At tomorrow’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican senators will call witnesses who will testify on the 1999 clemency of members of a violent Puerto Rican Nationalist Group, setting the stage for what may become a grilling over Holder’s actions when he was Deputy Attorney General overseeing pardon recommendations to President Bill Clinton.

Holder could again face questions over controversies such as the pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich and the prison sentence commutation of a cocaine dealer. Critics said the Justice Department’s handling of the pardon process, under Holder, broke down in the waning days of the Clinton administration.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week, based on previously undisclosed documents and new interviews, that Holder repeatedly pressed his subordinates at the Justice Department to drop objections to the 1999 clemency request of 16 members of two violent Puerto Rican nationalist groups. Clinton’s decision to commute their sentences angered law enforcement officials and families of victims who said they were never consulted.

Joseph Connor, whose father Frank was killed in 1975 when members of the Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) bombed a New York restaurant, is expected to testify at the Holder confirmation hearing.

Also expected to testify is former FBI special agent Richard Hahn who investigated FALN.

Holder has some Republican supporters who say that his earlier mistakes will make him a better AG.  Maybe.  But the issues deserve serious questioning, not the sort of group hug that occurred at Hillary Clinton’s hearing.

Doug Bandow
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Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.
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