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Holder’s Blago Omission a Target for GOP Senators « The Washington Independent

There’s been much made of Eric Holder’s past in both the public and private sectors as impediments to confirmation.

There are the few hot issues that cropped up during his 26 years at the Department of Justice — particularly his ties to the highly controversial Marc Rich and FALN pardons and his role in the Elian Gonzalez controversy — which have become basis for criticism. Then, over the weekend, an article in the New York Times, raised his eight years in the private sector as a corporate attorney as a possible hurdle to his confirmation.

But it’s not just Holder’s past that’s haunting him. It’s also his failure to mention his work for tainted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire, an omission sure to be touched on by Republicans. From the Times:

. . .[T]he now-impeached governor of Illinois, picked him, albeit briefly, to investigate for the state a controversy over a casino development and its possible ties to organized crime.

. . . In responding to written questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Holder made no mention of a 2004 announcement in which Mr. Blagojevich introduced him as a “special investigator” under a $300,000 contract with the state.

In the end, Blagojevich didn’t need Holder’s services — which may be why Holder left it off his resume — but with the climate at the Dept. of Justice the last eight years, it’s a dangerous game to even appear to be hiding something.

Republicans who are anxious to tie the Democratic party to Blagojevich’s sinking ship will no doubt jump at the chance to mention the now-impeached governor’s name at Holder’s hearing. Don’t be surprised to see Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.), the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking minority member, use the questionnaire omission to segue into casting doubt on Holder’s “candor” during the Marc Rich hearings.

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