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. GB in Kansas

    When will these tired, sophmoric Republican hacks come to realize that the majority of the American public have grown weary of their sophomoric demagogery and buffoonery? How about, let's get moving on solving the mountain of problems facing our country and put aside this tiresome partisan bahavior?

    January 22, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. PA guy

    Specter is playing to the big chunk of Red in the middle of PA...his next election is going to be tough and he is pretty likely to lose.

    January 22, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. EW

    Its always perfectly acceptable for Democrats to throw temper tantrums when they don't get their way but when Republicans actually have legitimate reasons to question someone that is unacceptable.

    Democrats will never be happy about anything. It's their sense of entitlement that does it to them.

    January 22, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Ken in Dallas

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

    Gee, I don't remember the Obama trolls complaining when Democrats were blocking Republican nominations, ... I guess this really is not about principle, since most Obama trolls do not have any principles.


    Since when, exactly, is payback for old frustrations principled behavior?

    You clowns had total ownership of DC for six years, yet you took no action to address recriminations over the Rich pardon, so don't try to sell this as a principled objection after you ignored it for the years when you could have done whatever you wanted. If it wasn't an issue then, it's not a real issue now.

    January 22, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. JM

    Hey his first act as Attorney General can be to pardon all the terrorists currently in our jain systems and then move on to releasing all the terrorists at Gitmo into the continental United States after their host counties won't take them back. Obama, change you can believe in.

    January 22, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. williefloyd

    Guess some of these Repubs. don't really care whether they're re-elected or not the next time around. Hope all you Repubs. who are hoping for Obama's success are remembering who is working for US and who are working only for themselves.

    January 22, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. JM

    Wow Holder and Geitner both apologized....Interesting. Let see, I can break as many laws as I want and simply apologize and expect to run the government. Screw up, apologize, get promoted. Only in Obamaland.

    January 22, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. mark

    sounds to me like they are going try and force him to make a deal, maybe to not go after Bush and Cheney, but maybe they need more time to destroy documents and find a way to prevent the evidence of how they broke the law come to light, sad that the republicans can't see what the american people want, they voted, they spoke, and they showed at the inauguration how much they desire change, get on board or just be quiet. You are hurting america, like in the movie Gladiator, Maximus said, " the time for honoring yourself will soon come to an end." Listen and learn Republicans!

    January 22, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. legal in nc

    Maybe you should reads CNN's article about Pelosi and Reid stopping Obamas stimulus because as the egomaniac Pelosi said, ""[Tax cuts on the wealthy] have to prove their worth to me as to how they grow the economy, how they create jobs," she said."

    Where is the left outrage over Dems blocking their messiah???

    Quit being hypocrits and do like Obama said, "enough of the blame game, let's work together"

    CNN, try posting both sides of the discussion and not putting all those that don't kiss up to the admin on "waiting moderation".

    January 22, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Bill

    I have a question for the GOP where were all these hard question concerning Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez in his hearings? Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was the worst Attorney General in US history. I stll hear him stating to Congress I cannot recall or I cannot remember.

    January 22, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Barb

    McCain got 46% of the popular vote, Obama didn't win by a landslide. I'm sure he would be the first to admit he has to walk the line. If he can't pull off a miracle and get jobs and the economy going, it will all swing back the other direction. People vote with their pocketbook.

    January 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Deborah Black

    All those who are obstructionist just for the sake of it, or let personal and personality issues get in the way of the people's business, won't be long for their jobs.

    "Put away childish things" as Pres Obama quoted from the Bible.

    January 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Bill in Texas

    These petty Republicans allowed their nominee for attorney general fly by regardless of their opinion on torture, which is a war crime. Now Specter looks silly to slow the proceedings down for a pardon that took place over 8 years ago. At least holder believes waterboarding is torture and if I were Holder I would go after the Republican crooks who authorized it. Agai, Senator Specter is playing politics as he plays for favor from the extreme right wing of his party. Shame on you Senator Specter.

    January 22, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. eddy


    January 22, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Canuck

    Hey Move On, move on. yup there are 59 million of us that remember what you did to bork, and solid Bush federal judge appointments that your clowns held up or destroyed. get ready, we are coming for what's ours. let the partisan political war continue. bi-partisanship is bull and for sell-outs.

    January 22, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. John

    Road for black men are always bumpy.......it wasnt easy for Obama, it wasnt Burris, so Holder it gonna be easy for you, in that dark tunnel there's sunlight at the end.

    January 22, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Noel

    Holder deserves to twist in the wind for a while because Marc Rich is free somewhere. Then move on and confirm him based on his qualifications. Bill, aren't you going to say something to help your fall guy? My bad...that requires character.

    January 22, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Betty

    The Rethugs are trying to cover some A$$ here. They do not want Holder going after their Good Old Boys network. They want him to promise to leave the Bush cronies alone. As a good Attorney General he can not and will not do that.

    Spector is just another silly Republican who will be judged on his merits in 2010. Throw them all out. Time to clean house, and as a Democrat, time to set term limits so that fresh blood is coming into both houses. We should not have to slap our representatives to be sure they are alive or awake. Time for Kennedy and Byrd to go home and take a nap. They were good, but the time has come for fresh blood and new ideas.

    January 22, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Mick in Mesa

    Of course the plantation senators are delaying his confirmation vote. First off he scares the bejeezuz out of them because he has stated no person – or politician – is above the law. If I were a leftover repuglicon I'd be scared too.
    Second, warrantless wiretapping – The Senate knew all about the details and the don't want him nosing around.
    Thirdly, the repuglicons don't have anything meaningful to contribute to the political dialogue (praying in public schools, same sex marriage and abortion ARE NOT economic or national security issues) so they obstruct...

    January 22, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. roger in ga

    So "Limp"baugh says he hopes Obama fails. I guess we know what side he is on. Maybe we should send him pack to Putin so they can be together.

    January 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    It's good they are meeting behind closed doors. There aren't enough hours in the day to listen to Arlen Specter ask a question, if last week's Holder hearing that was televised, is any indication. I was worried about Holder's kids being there and having to hear any allegations leveled against their father, but when morning turned to noon in the course of ONE Specter question, I figured the kids probably took their naps during that hearing, anyway, so hopefully no harm done.

    January 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. aware

    Just say NO! 😦

    January 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. daniel cabrera

    AH! well, ....that is transparency alright!

    Pres Obama must be laughing at large at the people. YOU KNOW HE IS MISLEADING THE PEOPLE SINCE MOMENT ONE , RIGHT ?

    Holder, (his hand-pick terrorist advocate ) is ploting behind doors with another member of the phony -make-belive-we-are-doing-something-good-fot the people administration.

    You wanted Obama?,....EAT OBAMA NOW!

    Worst is to come,....better sit down.

    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    January 22, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Maddie

    I really don't like this closed door meeting – but, the republicans are use to doing things behind closed doors and being secretive.
    The press should hound Specter and make him answer questions.

    January 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Candia

    Daniel, I hope you actually know that Obama is only chief of the executive and that congress is an independent and co-equal entity of government. He has no say over their rules, rightly so. Although I do think more transparency in congress as well would be good for the country.

    January 22, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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