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. Irony in Action

    Well, that's rich.

    After Gonzalez, and all the underhanded political AG machinations of the Bush administration, they have the temerity to rehash an issue that has already been so extensively beat to death?

    One would hope that after spending years justifiably earning the accurate title of the "Do Nothing Congress" they would grow out of their petty neocon obstructionist win-at-all-costs republicanism.

    January 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Move On!

    Apparently the repubs haven't got the message from the american public; "We aren't going to take it anymore!" What we're going to have to do is vote more republicans out of office in 2010 to force a party wide reality check! I'm just not sure with 59 million willing to vote for Mccain/Palin that all of America will step up to the plate and do the right thing.

    January 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. 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 would like 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 complain about what’s 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 the oath, then they need to do their jobs and report on how the Republican Party is obsess with the past and the non committal progression to this country's future.

    January 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. sharon in pa

    We've known about this for weeks. Why didn't Spector take care of his concerns long ago? He obviously didn't get the people's clear message 11.04.08 that we expect collaboration & cooperation. Same w/Hillary's confirmation yesterday. There's too much work to do to hold up the process. He's lost my vote.

    January 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. John H. W. Doe

    Specter is a nut. This is the same guy who wanted committee hearings into Bill Belichick. Waste of a senate seat.

    January 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    The republicans don't seem to get the memo yet. They lost the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Presidency. Yet, they continue to miss no opportunity to grandstand and look like fools. You mean to tell me that Eric Holder does not merit being confirmed as AG, but Gonzo was? Are you people serious?

    January 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. bernj

    As republicans go, I thought Arlen Specter was fairly reasonable. His silliness regarding Holder would indicate that he is just as petty as the rest of the GOP faithful. I guess they just refuse to see than the light is shinning brighter by the day.

    January 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Patricia, Minneapolis

    Specter is ridiculous, I share the thought that the GOP does not miss an opportunity to get in the way of the REAL interests of the American people.

    January 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Dana from NY

    Republicans can keep standing on the wrong side of progress if they want to but in case they missed it- it appears Americans are tired of the Republicans dirty tricks and negative ways...all of these petulant acts are only making things worse for them. Obama wants to bring people together- and Republicans still want to stomp their feet... get on board or get out of the way!

    January 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Eric Hatch

    Everybody agrees Holder is eminently qualified. Whether or not he should have recommended a pardon X years ago is not relevant to his qualifications for the AG post. The Republicans are simply pouting, and Specter should grow up and move forward.

    January 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Matt

    That little racist Specter was the only GOP member of the committee to show up at the hearing? So, they basically had planned this and all the other GOP members knew there was no point in showing up. What wonderful respect they seem to have for the President, his nominee and the Senatorial confirmation process.

    January 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. TT in MD

    Sen. Spector has not said that he will not confirm him, just that he wants to get more information. For those of you that are complaining about the Republicians holding things up, please take a look at the last 8 years, there are 49 unfilled federal judge positions due to the fact that the DEMOCRATS will not have confirmation hearings or votes. Also, look back at 2000 to see how quickly President Bush's appointments were confirmed. All that the republicians are asking is for time to properly vet these people. Look at SecState. Conyer wanted some questions answered, got the answers and Sen. Clinton was confirmed with only 2 dissenting votes.

    January 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. john w

    go into your closet and cry Leaky Leahy..

    January 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. rich

    Spector needs to get with the program. Pennsylavania, give this man his walking papers next year please. He has used up his usefulness in the senate.

    January 22, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. chelle

    Spector needs to give it up and go into retirement. Enough of politics entering every decision. How about just looking at if the man can do the job? Obviously he can, so let's move on shall we?

    January 22, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. P. Y.

    Specter's days are numbered. He has been in office too long. About time Pa. votes for someone new.
    He is just trying to make a name for himself hoping it buys him some votes.
    Pathetic !

    January 22, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Pat J

    It is entirely WITHIN the interest of the American people that an opposition party scrutinize - rather than rubber stamp - individuals and policies of the party in power !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, any Republican who does NOT do that will not get MY vote going forward !!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. GOPloser

    Distraction = GOP this people will do anything to stay relevant sad people taking our country back wards.

    January 22, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Michael M. Noonan

    Mr. Holder cravenly participated in the pardon of murderers (so the Clintons could pick up Pudfgo Rican votes and Marc Rich, the second most wanted man by the FBI. And he should be the country's premier law enforcement officer.

    January 22, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. louis Allen

    The Republicans are afraid he will actually do his job and prosecute those who tortured.

    January 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Mickie

    The republicans just do not get the message - stop all the bickering and bringing up long past issues. Why didn't they question all of the illegal/immoral acts of their own renegade president? Spector is long past his time to retire and they have nerve after Bush nominating Harriet Myers for Supreme Court Justice and Palin for V.P. nominee to question Pres. Obama's choices.

    January 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Crazy Cat Lady

    Arlen Specter: waterboy for the Limbaugh crowd. Republicans who cling to their obstructionist ways are in for a rude awakening in 2010.

    January 22, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. marlyt51

    The repubs put him in the crosshairs the second he said that waterboarding was torture!!!!!!!!
    So that means Bush,Chaney Gonzalez will be making a date to go to Gitmo themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. TCM

    yeah,...wow...pres kennedy...uh...the liberal congress, infused with the corrupt democratic machine...along with Obama's campaign and himself personally, have brought the country to it's financial knees with their wave of corruption perpetrated solely for the interest of obtaining a democratic in the prez's office. Blame the dems for your job loss....not the republicans...the democrats, led by Pelosi, have an agenda planned to fully sustain the illegals and minorities in this country at the expense of the hard working American. Then, once they've "bought,' their votes through promises and entitlements, they've secured a future for themselves....stupid libs have ruined this country.

    January 22, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Blue - Philly

    I'm so done with Spector & his hypocrisy, hope he goes the way of Rick Santorum!

    January 22, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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