January 22nd, 2009
10:24 AM ET
3 months 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. John, Pittsburgh

    OPEN THE DOOR! WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO HEAR!

    January 22, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Pete

    Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the greatest show on earth.

    January 22, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. AEK

    Still pressing Holder on how he plans to proceed with investigations into torture used by the Bush administration no doubt.

    Senator, in order for The United States of America to regain ANY respect in the international community, someone is going to have to stop trying to cover for the Bush/Chaney/Rove folks and send someone to jail. The torture techniques they employed we illegal and have been ever since we disposed of those nice Japanese gentlemen who were using them on American servicemen during WWII. Remember, America was THE country to champion the prosecution of war criminals and now we find that because of the people WE elected, WE (yes, whether you voted for them or not) are the war criminals. Not a very good reality check for anyone but especially distasteful for those of us who served during WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam.

    January 22, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Was it really Roberts that flubbed it?

    Holder I know you want to be nominated but no kinky stuff behind closed doors, Specter has quite the reputation of getting his way behind closed doors, lol.

    January 22, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Jared

    Just confirm the guy!

    January 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Ray Wyman Jr

    With all due respect Mr Spector, move on. Leahy's disappointment is America's disappointment.

    January 22, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. David

    Spector is being tough because of the treatment of Gonzo but please it's obvious that this man Holder is qualified and Gonzo wasn't. At least he knows the definition of water boarding.

    January 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Virginia

    People, I would be more worried about this man (Holder) having served in the Clinton admin that Arlen Specter holding up the confirmation because he wants more info. Unlike Barack, Mr. Specter is in no hurry to make lousy decisions and have to back peddle on them. Good for Mr. Specter for wanting a thorough "vetting" of this man–we need to know.

    January 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Virginia

    People, I would be more worried about this man (Holder) having served in the Clinton admin than Arlen Specter holding up the confirmation because he wants more info. Unlike Barack, Mr. Specter is in no hurry to make lousy decisions and have to back peddle on them. Good for Mr. Specter for wanting a thorough "vetting" of this man–we need to know.

    January 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. BB

    Is this where that crooked PA senator gets his money?

    January 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. dob

    Easy- calm down everyone. For liberals-remember when Bush made nominations. They did not go through unopposed. This is a very important position, give them time to make the correct decision. That is why this process exists.

    January 22, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Ken in Dallas

    Republicans had total control of DC for six years, and could have pursued recriminations over the Rich pardon at any point during those years. This is just a game, intended to paralyze the Obama administration for the sake of declaring Obama ineffective. If Specter can't let go of the past, he should retire.

    January 22, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Kevin, Austin TX

    For eight years they were the rubber-stamp party. Now they are the obstruction party. My favorite was Cornyn holding up Clinton's nomination under the guise of "transparency." Where was he when Cheney was meeting in secret with energy execs? Where was he in the runup to the Iraq war, where has he been on issues of transparency for eight years. Who knows, he was hiding, we couldn't find him.

    January 22, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Karl

    The Greasy Ole Party has the right to question the Dept of Justice nominee. That's our democracy and we must allow it to work. I feel deeply that he will be confirmed and sworn in as the Director. It's simply going to take some time. But I think it is gravely hypocritical for the GOP to lambaste and delay this Holder's nomination when Gonzales experienced smooth sailing. I agee that those living in the past should go and allow America to live brightly forward.

    January 22, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Laverne

    I guess the repubs are trying to corner Holder and cut some kind of deal for their interest and of course not the interest of the people. This is ridicuous when they know this man is well qualified for the job and that mess about questions regarding the Clinton administration is not worth the stink they are trying to make it out to be. Eric hold firm and don't let them corner you into anything!

    January 22, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. virginia nielsen

    How about Gonzales ? The republicans, as always, trying to delay good decisions. Tell them that their way won't work anymore !!!

    January 22, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Don in Albuquerque

    What they really want to know is, is he going to prosecute the Bush Admin. for torture, illegal wire taps, ect. Republicans are at it once again to prove they are above the law, and the law does not apply to them.

    Careful Arnie, ever hear of a little thing called Obstruction of Justice?

    January 22, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Repuges are sore loosers

    I listened to the entire debate on the Senate floor yesterday and Specter is playing "tit for tat" . He made statements about how much of a problem it was when they were trying to get Bush's Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez confirmed. So appears that Specter is going to make trouble just to get back at the Democrats even though they had a ligitimate reason which came out after he was hired. He turned out to be a liar and misused his power to fire all of those States Attorney's.

    January 22, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Ron - Saint Louis

    On Tuesday President Obama stood before the world and said that America was going to put aside its pettiness and childish behavior to "remake" America.

    Since these all we have seen from Congress is more of the same. A one day delay in Clinton's appointment as if we suddenly learned anything more in that day. Bi-partisen bickering over the treasury appointment, and I am sure the list goes on.

    None of us want an unqualified person appointed but enough of this party line bickering. Our nation is dying and if these old guys can't wake up and smell the coffee then it is time to to deflate their egos and throw them out of office.

    Maybe now is the time to push term limits. 3 terms for the Senate and 5 terms for the house.

    January 22, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Anthony Smith

    Born and raised in Pa, I have no respect for Specter. What do you expect from a Warren Commission member? He and his partner from Texas are just trying to flex their muscles and piss off the Dems. They have NO interest in solving America's problems. They allowed Bush to ruin this country now they want to be a thorn in Obama's side. The Republicans make me sick!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 22, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Vietnam Vet

    Okay AG Holder tell them you aren't going to go out of your way to Procecute the real Republican criminals that made a mockery of civil,human, citizens rights and U.S. Laws for the last eight years including those congressman that enable this mis-carriage of Justice.
    Once you say this ,then they want be afraid to let you get to work to restore the crediablity of the Justice Department.

    January 22, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Sam

    These Rupublicans dont get it! What exactly is the relevance now of a pardon which took place two administrations ago and for which Hoder has apologized for his involvement?

    The President of the United States is the sole person with the authority to pardon anyone he so desires. If anyone has enduring questions about the pardon, ask Clinton (or if you want, his wife). Why continue to hold up Holder's confirmation over this filmsy excuse?

    January 22, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. The One

    Gee, I don't remember the Obama trolls complaining when Democrats were blocking Republican nominations, after the People had spoken and elected a Republican President and a Republican majority in Congress. I guess this really is not about principle, since most Obama trolls do not have any principles. It is all about silencing any dissent and silencing any different point of view. These religious zealots of the Left are just as dogmatic as the religious zealots on the Right. Arlen Specter is one of the most moderate/liberal Republicans out there, and has always worked with Democrats, even when his party was in the majority. Gotta love the hooligan threats though.

    January 22, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. TomD

    So "Limp"baugh says he hopes Obama fails. Spoken like a true contributor to the success of America. I guess his addiction to drugs is getting worse. And people follow this guy?!? LOL!!!!

    January 22, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Theresa-IL

    Apparently, President Obama's request to put aside childish ways fell on deaf ears. I am disappointed in Specter. We have REAL problems in this country and we need REAL people to step up and handle them, not act like my 4 year old who got mad the game didn't go her way.
    Eric Holder is qualified for the position, he is respected on both sides of the aisle, this is the same back room politics.

    January 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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