January 15th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
11 years ago

Holder: I 'made mistakes' in Marc Rich pardon incident

 Holder is testifying on Capitol Hill.

Holder is testifying on Capitol Hill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - During his confirmation hearing Thursday, Attorney General designate Eric Holder conceded that he "made mistakes" during the Marc Rich pardon incident that were "not typical" of his conduct over the bulk of his career.

Holder said he "made assumptions that turned out not to be true" during the Rich pardon process, which turned out to be the "most intense" and "searing" experience he "ever had as a lawyer."

Watch: 'I've made mistakes,' Holder says

Holder said that he learned from the Rich pardon incident and will "be a better attorney general" as a result.
One of the lessons of the Rich case, Holder said, was the need for "full consultation with all lawyers in the pardon process." Holder said there was a need to improve the pardon process, which seems to experience a "deterioration... at the end of every administration."

Holder, in response to a question from Sen. Arlen Specter, said he did not recommend that former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn, who served as Rich's lawyer during the pardon process, circumvent the Justice Department and go "straight to the White House" with the pardon application.

Holder admitted he made a mistake by being inadequately informed about Rich's criminal background.


Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Marshall

    Atleast he understands what he did is wrong. There are plenty of people in the country who won't even do that.

    January 15, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Noah

    AnnMM- You clearly do not understand anything about the Islamic Jihadists. For one thing, they had been planning the September 11 attack since the summer of 1998, when Clinton was president. Almost all of the careful planning happened on his watch. He also had multiple opportunities to kill Bin Laden but hesitated to do so because he did not know how the international community would view it. There is no evidence to suggest that Al Qaeda has increased in size since the Iraq war began so your statement is incorrect that GWB is a good recruiter for crazy terrorists.

    January 15, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    AMAZING THE LIST OF PEOPLE KEEP GROWING AND HUISSAIN OBAMA IS NOT EVEN IN CONTROL YET!!!!!!!!!!

    JUST WAIT UNTIL HE TAKES OVER!!!!!!!!!!

    THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS WILL BE DROPPING OUT BY THE THOUSANDS EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!

    NOW IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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