Tuesday, December 30, 2008

US Attorney General-elect Eric Holder Was Not Straight With Congress

At the time president Bill Clinton pardoned a wealthy contributor to his campaigns, Mark Rich, Attorney General-designate Eric Holder was the number 2 man in the Justice Department. Clinton had fired all the US attorneys connected with the previous administration and appointed new faces in the department.

At the time of the pardon, Rich was the largest tax defrauder in the United States. In sworn testimoney before Congress, Holder claimed he had “only a passing familiarity" with the case against Rich.

The Washington Times is now reporting:

“Correspondence with the Justice Department and testimony secured by Congress from other witnesses show that 15 months before the pardon, Mr. Holder met privately with Mr. Rich's attorney and received a presentation about what Mr. Rich's defense believed were flaws in the government's case.

"Mr. Holder, then serving as the No. 2 official in the Clinton Justice Department, later took the rare step of contacting federal prosecutors handling Mr. Rich's case in New York and, according to his own testimony, tried to "facilitate" a meeting with the defense.

“The Republican lawmaker who investigated the controversial Rich pardon told The Washington Times that evidence documenting the 1999 contacts conflicts with Mr. Holder's testimony and that he has forwarded information he has on the subject to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will examine President-elect Barack Obama's choice for attorney general.

“Mr. Holder ‘certainly had more than a passing familiarity with this case,’ said Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican, who oversaw the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee when it investigated the Rich pardon in 2001.

"’I know human beings are fallible and they make mistakes, but making statements that are not accurate while under oath before a congressional committee goes beyond the pale,’ he said. ‘Sure as the dickens, he was not straight with our committee.’"

Thus far, none of the members of Connecticut’s all-Democrat congressional delegation -- US senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman and US Reps. John Larson, Joe Courtney, hris Murphy and Rosa Delauro -- have yet offered substantial comments on President-elect Obama’s choice of Holder as Attorney General.

And out own usually voluable Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has preserved a dignified silence.

Will someone please wake Connecticut’s congressional delegation up.
Post a Comment