January 22nd, 2009
10:24 AM ET
4 years ago

Holder and Specter to meet behind closed doors

Holder is set to meet with Specter later Thursday.

Holder is set to meet with Specter later Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General nominee Eric Holder meets behind closed doors today with Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Commitee.

Specter, speaking for other Republicans on the committee, has asked for a one week delay on a committee vote on Holder’s nomination.

The initial confirmation vote for Holder, who served as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, yesterday was postponed for a week after a rancorous meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans, led by Specter, the ranking Republican on the committee, want to question Holder further about his role in what they consider controversial presidential pardons in the last days of the Clinton administration.

He complained of "hurried proceedings" and said he spoke for all Republicans on the committee in requesting more time.

Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democratic committee chairman, expressed "deep disappointment," and acknowledged that Republicans had the right to ask for the delay - then slammed his gavel and walked out of the hearing room.

Specter and Holder are expected to meet late this afternoon on Capitol Hill.

Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. David of West Virginiia

    What is Senators Arlen Spector and John Cornyn afraid of anyway. If the Bush Administration did nothing wrong, then why are these two men worrying about and holding Eric Holder's nomination hostage? If Holder is not qualified to serve, vote NO, otherwise confirm Obama's choice to head the People's Office of Attorney General of the United States and if anyone is guilty of criminal activity, then prosecute them, including Gonzoles, Cheney, Bush and their Yesmen cronies that issued an illegal ruling that torture wasn't illegal.

    January 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Holder apparently subscribes to an, uh, "artful" interpretation of the Second Amendment. As far as I, and a lot of other people are concerned, this makes him unqualified to be Attorney General.

    Two reasons: First, "there is absolutely no reasonable basis for the "collective right" interpretation of that Amendment–historically, in context, it makes no sense at all. It was a fabrication of the anti-gun crowd intended to circumvent the spirit of the Amendment while adhering to the letter of it. So, do do we really want, and can we trust, an AG who seems so ready to violate the spirit of the Constitution? Even if you don't agree with the precepts of the Second Amendment, you have to wonder what else in the Constitution Mr Holder is prepared to creatively ignore. Certainly the last eight years has been a good demonstration of what can happen when the US government is willing to ignore the US Constitution.

    Second, as is true of all opponents of the right to bear arms, you have to conclude that Mr Holder fundamentally doesn't trust American citizens. Do we really want an AG who doesn't trust us? I don't think so.

    January 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Jonathan Burton

    Arlen will be nothing but a Specter for the GOP come 2010.
    That and John "Crony'n" Cornyn are both sticks in the mud.
    Neither are part of the forward movement in this country.
    Keep it up guys. And be sure to update your resume's before november 2010 comes around.

    January 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Joanna

    Arlene, I love you. You are a wonderful man. I love hearing your stories from way back when. Now with that being said, stop delaying this. Holder is extremely qualified. If this is a bout the war crime committed by the bush regime, knock it off. How can we say we are on the side of justice, yet not charge Bush? The law has got to apply to all not some. We are facing many challenges, true. But we must live up to our name.

    January 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. alvino

    The republicans are worried about how Holder will pursue the war crimes against the Bushies. I am sure they are trying to make a deal that "W" and his cronies will get away with torture.

    January 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. Katy

    GOP never care about American, just themselves only. It is time for them to push the childish thing away and work with the President & his Admin & Dem to rebuild this country. They are much to be blame for pushing this country to where it is now and for me to have to work longer because my 401K and saving almost gone.

    GOP, your game is old and childish; play a smart game so your brain will be a litle biger than pea size now.

    January 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Josh in NC

    It seems that if the GOP were that concerned, they would have shown up for the hearing.

    January 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Thundersnow

    I fail to see the wisdom in the Republican party right now. You have a wildly popular President,you are in the minority, and the country is in crisis. What a WONDERFUL time to act like petulant children slowing Clinton's confirmation by 24 hours,Spectre and Co. acting like the south end of a north bound mule,etc. The voters wil LOVE you for engaging in partisan sniping while the economy collapses. Do ALL States have the right to impeach Senators and Representatives??? BTW: Newt , you and these juvenile members of Congress sure make the Democrats look like heros and long-suffering saints.

    January 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Donovan

    Specter is full of it. He's just covering up criminal republican behinds! Holder wants to go after these criminals called the "Bush administration" and because they are republican, Specter is holding this up. Americans want JUSTICE. Americans want ACCOUNTABILITY. Americans want to see the Bush administration prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (if found guilty). To hold up the AG confirmation to try to cut a deal so the RULE OF LAW isn't followed ... it's just criminal itself (or should be). Either way it's a total violation of Specter's oath of office.

    January 22, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Lhill

    This is absolutely correct, I believe we as Americans need to Identify those in the Senate, who is holding up the nominations, and make a list so when 2010 comes we wil have a record of the senators who continue to put ideology before the interest of the American people. These Senators need to be voted out of Office.

    January 22, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Scott

    Do you people REALLY not want questions asked of your beloved Democrats? Is that ALL that matters? That he is a Democrat and the possibility that he did something wrong doesn't matter?

    January 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. lyn, canada

    For the good of the people, GOP-you must learn to work with the Democrates.
    Otherwise, your GOP race will be extinct .
    Your pathetic partisan behavior is repulsive.

    January 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. richard

    Democrats stop the whining. The republicans should do what the democrats have been doing the last 8 years. If you don't like it, maybe you should of been a little less evil towards Bush. Democrats never have the best interest for our nation. The GOP has the right to act like the democrats.

    January 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. LIP

    You people amaze me.
    Bush didn't get a blank check from the Dems and neither should any other President. It is possible to make bad choices and a President like anyone else, should own up to them immediately. There is justified concern, even amongst the Blue Dog dems, but they are keeping their collective mouths shut due to all the rancor that was aimed at others in the party recently for not blindly following the leader. Lets allow the system to work the way it was designed. Remember the mantra of the Dems every election; "let every vote count".

    January 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Alan

    I think they all listen to Rush Windbag a bit too much, don't you?

    January 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. JKM

    What does anyone's actions from the Clinton presidency have to do with what's happening now? That was 10 years ago; stop the sophmoric bickering and start doing your job.

    January 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. American

    Mukasey and Gonzales who supported torture gets a cake walk and now this?....Republican obstructionist holding back progress in this country.

    January 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. CJ

    Did the republicans have an AG that told the truth or did not break the LAW? Now they want to tie Obamas hands. Well the republicans have to remember that we the people are keeping our eyes and ears open and elections get here fast enough.

    January 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Let's vote all the Republicans out of office

    Death to the republican party.

    January 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Karen- Change is coming

    I can't wait for 2010 to get rid of more Republicans who are holding up progress. It's ashame we can't get rid of them NOW! It's obvious the Republican party is still bitter and want to set this country back even further instead of moving forward. I'll be calling into Capitol Hill today. We all need to call and compaign about whats going on with the Republican party and the media need to jump all over this. If the media can keep up this insane thought on if President Obama took th oath, then they can do their jobs and report on how the Republican party obsession with the past.

    January 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. M in PA


    There is no way Spector is going anywhere, he is one of the senior members of the Senate and has done a lot for our state.


    I guess the interests of the people would be better served to rubber stamp whomever comes before them

    January 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Steve in TX

    They want Holder to promise not prosecute anyone for Katrina, Lying America into a war, outing CIA agent, firing prosecutors who weren't Republican, sending 350 BILLION to bankers, and allowing torture. Not to mention the complete destruction of our economy.

    There is just no end to the disgrace that Republicans have become. They've robbed us blind in so many ways and now have the audacity to say, "yeah but don't prosecute us." Really ???

    These criminals have committed High Treason to our country and should not only be prosecuted but jailed and possibly executed.

    We're mad as hell and we're not going to take this anymore.

    January 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |

    It's like the Republicans brains don't work so quickly, all they do is delay progress. I sure hope your right ANGIE! President Kennedy I could not have said it better myself!

    January 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. KC

    Keep holding Specter. Don't give in.

    January 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Jetty


    Just be yourself, the man is doing his job and you will eventually be confirmed and serve as one of the most effective Attorney this nation has ever have.

    January 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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