Pardon will pester Holder’s confirmation process

Attorney general nominee Eric Holder will almost assuredly be confirmed by the Senate. But that doesn’t mean his confirmation hearings will be a cake walk – for him or for some Senate Democrats.

GOP lawmakers are said to be stockpiling statements Senate Democrats made in the past criticizing Holder for recommending the pardon of Marc Rich at the end of the Clinton administration, Politico reports. Holder, a deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, has since said that he regretted the recommendation to pardon the billion financier, who was convicted of tax fraud. Rich’s wife, Denise, was a hefty contributor to Clinton’s campaign.

“I don’t think there is anything [in Holder’s record] that would disqualify him,” an aide to one GOP senator on the Judiciary Committee told Politico. “Certainly there are opportunities to make some of the Democrat senators a little red faced.”

Meanwhile, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen blasted the selection of holder, saying the pardon episode “suggests that Holder, whatever his other qualifications, could not say no to power.”

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