January 22nd, 2009
10:24 AM ET
8 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. Jim

    Holder is a terrible choice for AG. Say goodbye to your second amendment rights if he hits office.

    January 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. MikeH

    It's already come out that Republicans are trying to get some kind of vow from Holder that he won't prosecute anyone in the Bush admin. for war crimes.

    The Republicans are trying to act like a rear guard for the criminal element of the Bush Administration.

    On a related note, the UN director for prosecution of war criminals has announced he will beging investigation into Bush's war crimes, with the aim of prosecuting persons responsible, and has already named George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld as suspects.

    January 22, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. jaye

    This has nothing to do with the clinton pardons – it's all about the republicans using political blackmail to prevent Holder from prosecuting the torture of political prisoners.

    January 22, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. sheridare

    Republicans never miss an opportunity to obstruct progress. Holder scares them because he will not commit to quashing possible investigations of the Bush Administration. The GOP is going to have to get used to the fact that a significant majority of the American people support President Obama.

    January 22, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. bill from pa

    this is exactly what a minority party is supposed to do. It's called checks and balances. The dems under the control of Reid curled up and rolled over like babies when they were in the minority. I'm a registered libertarian so I don't have a dog in this fight but I'm glad to see the republicans are going to question appointments, legislature etc when it needs to be. It's democracy at it's finest.

    January 22, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. dr.mimi de la cruz

    SPECTER NEEDS TO LOSE HIS SEAT.

    HE IS HAVING A PROBLEM WITH HOLDER,

    BECAUSE HIS HAIR IS CUT TOO TIGHT. BUT

    SPECTER DIDN'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BUSH

    WHILE HE BROKE EVERY LAW OF THE LAND, FOR 8 YEARS.

    January 22, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. MikeH

    To 'The One'

    Gee, I remember the Denmocrats trying to get Gonzalez to tell the truth, and Mukasey to say what he thought constituted torture.

    Sounds to me like the Democrats were trying to protect America from criminals in the Bush administration.

    I wonder if 'The One' is a member of the '50-Cent Army', individuals paid by the Republicans to post anti-Obama messages.

    January 22, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Bobby

    Al Queda, will welcome the appointment of this guy as Attorney General......

    January 22, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. suzyku

    These Republicans remain stupid and clueless! They obstruct just because they can and the majority of Americans are plain sick and tired of them and with any luck the old neocons, Spector and Cornyn and the new jerk from Louisianna will all be voted out next time around!

    January 22, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Michael

    They're not going to get what they want. Holder would be abandoning his responsibility by making such a silly statement. Apparently, the GOP is use to such Attorney Generals after Mukasey, Gonzales, and Ashcroft.

    January 22, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. legal in nc

    Unlike the blind sheep that would follow their "messiah" with all his promises but no specifics Spector is doing what is right for all of the country, not just the sheep.

    Remember USA is a democracy and not a dictatorship so just because the left won doesn't mean that the right doesn't get to ask questions even Leahy understands that.

    You on the left seem to have forgotten how you tried to block most of Bush's appointees in 2000 and 2004.

    January 22, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Bobby

    Tom D – I bet you just wished every success for the previous president, huh? The hypocrisy of the Bush haters now calling for unity is sickening. The way they idolize Obama is frightening and reminiscent of 1930s Germany or USSR. Asking for something you weren't prepared to give others is pathetic. Insicdentally, what Limbaugh actually said was very valid. Why would he want a president with a philosophy different than his own to succeed? The democrats led the way with this approach for the past eight years! Go figure.....

    January 22, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Former Republican

    WE HAVE HAD 8 YEARS OF LAWLESSNESS & SPECTER

    DIDN'T MAKE A PEEP. REPUBLICAN JUSTICE HAS

    BECOME NO-JUSTICE. SPECTER CAN'T EVEN COME

    UP WITH A SINGLE REASON FOR GIVING HOLDER

    A DELAY. HE TRIED HOLDING HOLDER RESPONSIBLE

    FOR THE LEGAL, BUT TASTELESS, DOINGS OF BILL CLINTON.

    ALL THIS SOUNDS PERSONAL OR RACIAL.

    January 22, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Nola

    I cannot believe that Senator Specter is behaving in such a sicko manner. He did not listen to President Obama's speech Tuesday – because if he had he would not be still playing these childish games. The time has come for us all to work as one in order to get this country back on track.

    January 22, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. MK

    Rubber stamp holder then appoint William Ayres to the dept of homeland security. I say they should fillibuster his butt. Dems fillibustered all of Bush's judicial appointees. Democracy in action.

    January 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. david goldman

    JUST THE REPUBLICANS TRYING TO GIVE

    THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION A WEEK OR

    SO TO DO SOME MORE SHREDDING.

    January 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. budburgoonclark

    Republicans, the VOTERS will remember this in 2010!

    January 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. Barbara

    I hope Holder is confirmed and puts all the Bushie enablers in jail.

    January 22, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Justin from New Haven,CT

    Holder sucks, I support Obama but really disliked this pick for AG, he should have picked Deval Patrick or Napolitano (instead of DHS).

    January 22, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Well isn't that calling the kettle white (no, I am a white guy)...the Republicans digging up something from the Clinton administration. Under the Bush administration the Justice Department saw unprecedented corruption and incompetence. If there is anything to account for and/ or investigations to be done start with the Bush administration led Justice Department.

    January 22, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Hopester

    We had eight years of corrupt government with the Bush administration. Typical Specter wanting to go behind closed doors.Look back at the facts and to condition of this country on Bush's watch. Obama has had a couple of days and already you whining conservatives are starting.Nothing you are saying has a factual base. After four years of Obama you can rant but for the time being shut up and get busy doing your part to rebuild this country or move to another one and take your drug addict buddy Rush with you.

    January 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. sammieb51

    Speaking of Presidential Pardons - any news on who DimWit pardoned in his 11th hour?

    January 22, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. believe

    bitter republicans.

    January 22, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Jackie in Dallas

    You know, "The One", you need to overcome your partisan views and look at the facts. Hey, I didn't agree with some of President Clinton's pardons, but I certainly didn't agree with a lot of President Bush's either. Pardons are contraversial by their nature. The point being is that the President has the right granted by the Constitution to make those pardons. Holder's role in the Clinton pardons, while possibly noteworthy, is not really what is at stake here. This is partisan politics at play, with delaying tactics to cause difficulties for the new administration.

    Rather like the spiteful vote on Hillary that caused her nomination to a floor voice vote. The result, the person who caused the voice vote was NOT one of the two who voted against her. Interesting, no?

    January 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. SAGG

    The One January 22nd, 2009 11:46 am ET

    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.
    -----–

    The Dems didn't stop AG Ashcroft from being nominated, if you'll recall, and he was just as controversial as Holder, if not more so. They allow him right on through. I guess fair play's out for the still-reeling GOP...

    January 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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