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. educated Ron

    So when does an attorney general get blamed for a presidential pardon. Why is it that the first african american nominated for attorney general is being attacked for a presidential pardon. Its the president who can pardon anyone. Attorney general involvement is just a formality.

    We have to get past this. It would be like blaming bush's attorney general for bush's pardons. Or blaming the pardoning of Nixon on the attorney general. Come on america. Its the president's decision who is pardoned in america.

    January 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Donovan

    I agree that Specter has been one of the most sane republicans ... a person who will actually listen to reason and the rule of law ... but THIS goes against everything he (seemingly) stands for. Accountability, the rule of law, and above all else the CONSTITUTION comes first. Period. Anything or anyone who violates these principles should not hold any sort of lawmaking position. If the Bush administration committed any crimes or violated our Constitution, they need to be held accountable and prosecuted if found guilty. His previous support of Democrat ideas doesn't justify this opposition. "Scoring points" and the "Good ole boy" system is a REPUBLICAN thing. It doesn't work as well with the Dems.

    January 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. RealityKing

    Terrorists around the world are celebrating Obama's appointments too, by planning their next attack.

    January 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Alfred E. Nueman

    Holder clearly stated that torture was illegal and Specter and his republican band of thieves know this is not a good omen for their failed leaders. They are probably trying to get another week to try and talk Mr. Holder out of marching their parties leaders off to jail.

    January 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. demwit

    Funny how liberal progressives suddenly see commenting on a failing presidency as bad for America..

    January 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Matt

    Greed Over Principles.

    January 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. charlotte

    Colin Powell said it best when he said that the republican party is being led by the likes of rush limbaugh and sean hannity.
    Need I say more.....

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. david

    holder is another one that should not be confirmed for his involvement in unjust pardons during the bill clinton administration. if holder is confirmed along with geithner, obama's administration is a corrupt one beyond the shadow of a remote doubt.

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. JNS

    the "issue" aside (and it surely is nothing more than an aside), it's the agnostics among us no doubt find it interesting that someone called "The One" appears to be a card carrying, historically challenged Republican. Hopefully it's not that "One!"

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. What's all the fuss about

    Voted on Geither already after tax problems less than 5 years ago, but holding up the Holder vote for a decision Clinton made nearly a decade ago. I smell a hint of disparity.

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. CHANGE.COM

    I am disappointed in you, senator Specter. You used to be different from the GOP squardron. I am not sure anymore. What's the delay? Holder acted on the information provided to him at that time and has apologised for it. Let's move on and get to the business of this nation.

    January 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Mike in Philly

    "Another Republican in Pa that will go bye bye in 2010"

    Well, to be fair, the guy is 78 now, and Hodgkin's Disease. So if he does decide not to run in 2010, that would be understandable.

    Besides, he said that the AG confirmation would go slow, even before it started. So this isn't really surprising. I guess they want to be sure he doesn't go and pardon someone they don't want pardoned. More importantly, will he prosecute regardless of political affiliation or circumstance, and not deny or fire, based on political expediency?

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. In Houston, TX

    The reason why Specter wanted to meet with Eric Holder behind closed doors is so that Specter can ask Holder, in a bold and straight forward fashion, if he plans on going after Bush.
    This should be the major conern of the Repugs and the only reason they would want to stop this nomination.

    And by the way, when Bush was making nominations, he usually picked the worst person for the position and Dems did not have the numbers to stop them.

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Glennis

    There is nothing wrong with being cautious with these appointments. Too bad he wasn't as cautious with Geithner. As it is, Angie in PA, Specter is just barely a Republican, but at least has more sense than that loser Casey.

    January 22, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Afam

    Also they are scared he is going top prosecute people that were involved in toture in the bush administration.I am only 23 and well informed.Stay informed people.

    January 22, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. greg

    so far for puting the business of the people ahead of politics, typical republicans...

    January 22, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. elsie

    There are very nervous that prosecutions are in the future. John Yoo should be first. Then the NSA wiretaps. The whistleblowers are already coming forward. The worker bees may have to be let go, but the guys at the top who ordered all this, they are the ones that need to go to jail.

    January 22, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Maddie

    This closed door meeting is disturbing. What is specter trying to hide?
    Is it political blackmail to keep the torturers and other lawbreakers from justice?

    January 22, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. James

    Message to the Obstructionist Politics-As-Usual Arlen Specter:
    Presidents decide pardons. Not deputy attorney generals.
    Specter needs to tell the public why one Senator should deny Obama his nominess for Attorney General.
    Wake Up Pennsylvania in 2010!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. SPL in ATL

    Let the games begin

    January 22, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Tired of the antics, PA

    I agree with Angie from PA. I am disappointed in Senator Specter, I thought he had more integrity than to engage in this type of action. If you have a real problem with his qualifications, then state it and move on. Same old GOP tactics.

    January 22, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. CS from VA

    Would have been nice if Specter was as inquisitive about the transgressions over the past eight years - maybe he just thinks Holder might have some goods on Bill Belichick....

    January 22, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. mjm

    Since when do we get to question the Dems and Obama?

    Hillary said this will not be tolerated!

    Talk about grabbing power.

    Hang in there GOP. Hope and change will come in 2012.

    January 22, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Dave

    No different than all the grief the Dems gave Bush's supreme court nominees. Hurts when it's your guy getting the treatment.

    January 22, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Dem in NE

    I think the GOP is worried that Holder would prosecute some of their colleagues

    January 22, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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