Arlen Specter Compares Eric Holder to Alberto Gonzales

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Republicans have made it clear that Attorney General-designate Eric Holder is the most problematic of President-elect Barack Obama cabinet nominees. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave a scathing floor statement on Holder Tuesday, laying out many of the GOP’s lines of attack: the 1996 “campaign finance violations” of Al Gore, the 2000 Elian Gonzalez saga, and the 2001 pardon of March Rich.

On the nomination of Mr. Holder, President-elect Obama chose not to seek my advice or even to give me advance notice in my capacity as Ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, which is his prerogative. Had he done so, I could have given him some facts about Mr. Holder’s background that he might not have known.

Specter’s big worry: That Holder could be as rotten at the top of DOJ as Alberto Gonzales.

After our recent experience with Attorney General Gonzales, it is imperative that the Attorney General undertake and effectuate that responsibility of independence.  Mr. Gonzales left office accused of politicizing the Justice Department, failing to restrain Executive overreaching, and being less than forthcoming with Congress … I am convinced that many of Attorney General Gonzales’ missteps were caused by his eagerness to please the White House. Similarly, when Mr. Holder was serving as DAG to President Clinton, some of his actions raised concerns about his ability to maintain his independence from the president.

Specter alleges that “serious questions” were raised about Holder’s “candor” during the Marc Rich hearings, and that Holder may have been responsible for “deviation from normal pardon procedures.” In some of the cases, Specter talked about, Holder “appear[ed] to be serving the interest of his superiors.  There is an underlying issue about Mr. Holder not following the recommendations of career attorneys.” His conclusion:

I am prepared to give Mr. Holder a full opportunity to explain his past actions and convince the Committee and the Senate that his record warrants confirmation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) couldn’t have written fainter praise.

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Comment posted January 6, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

I've quoted and linked to your post from…

PoliTrix » Blog Archive » Specter: Holder Could Be Another Gonzo
Pingback posted January 6, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

[...] Washington Independent reports that Specter cited several of the attacks that we’ve heard from GOPers since Holder’s [...]

Comment posted January 6, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

spector is a republicon, enought said.

Comment posted January 6, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

I'm concerned about Senator Specter's mental status.

It seems he's not had enough face time on the tv lately & it's effecting his judgment.

Comment posted January 7, 2009 @ 1:32 am

Typical Arlen Specter circus that we've seen many times. He just wants press coverage and Eric Holder's nomination has given him the opportunity. Comparing Alberto Gonzales is laughable, that man had NO equal. Specter is just having another tantrum at our expense, it is politics as usual.

Comment posted January 8, 2009 @ 5:45 am

At this critical time for our Republic the Senate must restore the Rule of Law, as well as the integrity and public confidence in DOJ by assuring that all of the proposed appointees to DOJ comply with the words inscribed on the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Department Building: “No Free Government Can Survive That Is Not Based on The Supremacy of Law. Where Law ends, Tyranny Begins, Law Alone Can Give Us Freedom.” As President-elect Obama stated the “Attorney General serves the American people.”

This is because the next Attorney General is the key to changing how the Federal and State Courts do or do not comply with their oath. This is because the evidence confirms that since Watergate, during the past 37 years the past Attorney General have worked with Chief Justice Berger, Rehnquist, and now Roberts, in violation of the mandates of separation of power and checks and balances to undercut the Rule of Law by the use cronyism to not enforce the laws to make official accountable for malfeasance. It was for this reason citizens have lost their fundamental rights under the IX Amendment vis-a-vis the Courts holding of unlimited government power, i.e. its ability to torture and conduct rendition.

Related to the above are my open letters to members of both the Senate and House opposing the confirmation of Eric Holder because he will be sued in a civil action under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq.,… and,…,

For the good of our Republic citizens must stop the cronyism and the wink and the nod in the legal profession to avoid their greater responsibility to the public. Does any thinking person really believe that corporate executives and accountants would have conducted business as they have if their legal profession were not culpable? How can you have effective regulation if lawyers refuse to abide by the Rule of Law?.

Isidoro Rodriguez, Esq.

Mark Thomas
Comment posted January 15, 2009 @ 9:34 am

I love the hypocrisy of dragging Eric Holder over the Marc Rich coals when Dick Cheney did the very same “crimes” as Rich at Halliburton and never gets mentioned as even a potential prosecution.

Comment posted January 16, 2009 @ 7:49 am

Spector is just as mean spirited and ignorant of the facts as he was along with his pal Orrin Hatch
during the Anita Hill humiliation-his pathetic attempts yesterday to grab some headlines were
exactly that-vindictive and unattractive-puts him right up there with Vitter of La in their lame attempts
at power as the Republican era grinds to an end-long past time for him to go-hope Chris Matthews
changes his mind about opposing him-Hillary slides through the process where there are real
concerns about Bill's activities and Holder gets bagged with his past association-once again
the Clintons skate while those who were associated with them have to once again fight to protect
their integrity, career and reputation-shameless!

Ruth C Uppena
Comment posted January 16, 2009 @ 8:04 am

Eric Holder,
We fully expect you to appoint a Special Prosecutor for the crimes of the Cheney/Bush. Administration.Get FISA right, repeal the Patriot Act, restore our civil liberties.

Comment posted January 17, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

here we go again. lets ignore the laws of the country..seems everyone is on the lawless bandwagon. maybe we can get rid of the constitution too while we're at it, its so “outdated”.

Comment posted January 17, 2009 @ 7:10 pm


Comment posted January 21, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

holder is an anti-american socialist who has no use for our constitution therefore he should never be confirmed as attorney general.

Comment posted January 22, 2009 @ 12:28 am

holder is an anti-american socialist who has no use for our constitution therefore he should never be confirmed as attorney general.

Specter promises to grill Holder on pardons… | GrassrootsPA
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