January 28th, 2009
11:13 AM ET
9 years ago

Judiciary Committee endorses Holder for attorney general

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/28/art.getty.holder.jpg caption="The committee's Democratic members unanimously supported Eric Holder."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to send the nomination of Attorney General-designate Eric Holder to the full Senate.

The committee's Democratic members unanimously supported Holder; GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma voted no.

Holder's Senate floor vote and swearing in could be completed as soon as Thursday.

The committee's endorsement of Holder was virtually assured on Tuesday when the committee's top Republican, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, announced his support of Holder's nomination.

Specter had angered Holder during the committee's confirmation hearing 11 days ago when he questioned Holder's "fitness" for the office.

In particular, the Pennsylvania senator questioned whether Holder would be politically independent from the White House, recalling Holder's refusal as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration to seek an independent counsel for an investigation of allegedly questionable fund-raising by then-Vice President Al Gore.

A clearly annoyed Holder warned Specter he was "getting close to the line in questioning my integrity."

It was the only heated exchange during a long day of testimony.

Specter, who later met with Holder privately, had also been particularly aggressive in challenging Holder's account of his role in the pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich by President Bill Clinton. He raised additional concerns about the possible prosecution of Bush-era officials who were operating under what they presumed to be a lawful order when they engaged in harsh interrogation techniques.

Outgoing Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip is serving as acting attorney general until Holder arrives at the Justice Department.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Holder, 58, will become the nation's first African-American attorney general.

Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Kurt C.

    This administration will go down as the most corrupt one we have ever had.

    January 28, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Uncle S.A.M.

    Yes! Let's indict Dick Cheney and karl Rove NOW!!!

    January 28, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Gracie

    For the love of GOD, just appoint the man and let's get to work!! All these delays by Senior Republicans are getting very TIRED and OLD. This is WHY Republicans LOST big time back in November.

    January 28, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Frank

    I just hope that he will enforce all of the laws, including those outlawing torture.

    January 28, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Corey W

    Its about time, now aloow the process to run its course....

    January 28, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Sharon

    The GOP The Grand Old Petty...Hey, guys..You lost and lost BIG!!! Better get over it and start doing something constructive instead of always being Destructive!!!!

    January 28, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Not Perry Mason

    Once again two myopic GOP Senators are on the wrong side of history. Why S.C. and OK elect these morons is beyond me.

    January 28, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. ChuckTX

    Just keep pushing thru the Clintonites.. Just helps the Republicans in '10 and '12.


    January 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Matt

    Approve him for crying out loud...we need to prosecute Bush, Cheney and the rest of thsoe drooling neocon animals for their war crimes and violations of the Constitution. Precedent MUST be set that we will not tolerate it from our own if we're to maintain the moral high ground from which to lead in thwarting it elsewhere.

    January 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. rena

    What's killing me to no ends is that you keep hearing the media say that the republicans are showing bipartisanship but yet you see foolishness like this. Every since Obama has taken office they have rejected everything that has come across the table. The republicans are sickening and they need to get rid of all the old scumbags that have been in office for decades. This is a new era and we need fresh ideas, young men and woman in those seats.

    We are in a crisis in this country and they are playing tic for tac with our lives. These olds fools are a distraction and set back to the American people. They are not affected because their pockets are finely lined with cash every month, while the average working American is fighting for the basic needs for their families. Maybe, they need to endure hardship like the rest of us, then and only then maybe they will understand.

    January 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. MBFLA

    Let the trials for torture begin!

    January 28, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Tony in Maine

    Gracie – I agree, but also understand it's all about the Republicans keeping their 30% of the electorate happy.

    Rove may be in trouble. Gonzalez may be in trouble, but Cheney and Bush are safe. Just my opinion and I've been known to be wrong. I think it's more likely that an independent prosecuter with a spotless reputation may be appointed. Even a report from such an office would put a hole in the Republican's hull.

    January 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Jonita

    I agree Gracie and they will lose again in 2010....

    January 28, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Angie in Pa

    Ibelive the former Bush Administration is the most Corrupt so far! nice try though!

    January 28, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Logical

    Kurt C. January 28th, 2009 11:17 am ET

    This administration will go down as the most corrupt one we have ever had.

    LOL ... not even the Devil as President & his minions as cabinet members .. will be as corrupt as Obama's predecessor (Bush/Cheney)

    January 28, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Don in Albuquerque

    I just pray he did not promise Spectre the moon. That would be a tragedy for the whole nation.

    January 28, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. TCMs sister

    Please dont go after my crooked brother and all his friends who worked for Cheney.

    January 28, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. dennis

    i love the way the democrats want to fast track all the thugs they are putting in office. Lets see:

    Bill Richardson stepped down due to illegal campaign money

    Eric Holder confirmed. he represented FARC terrorist org. Doesn't make it right. OJ simpsons lawyer knew he was guilty, but still did it for the money. does that mean he would be morrally a good AG?

    Hillary Clinton was confirmed. Her husband raised hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign governments. now she is securtary of state. hmmmm....conflict of interest?

    Geither was confirmed as secratary of treasury dept. guy didn't pay taxs for 3 yrs and now runs that dept? hmmmmm

    obama said no lobbyist. lets see. geither appointed a lobbyist for his dept. and obama gave a lobbyist of the defense dept the head of the pentagon position.

    this guy has more scandels before he even started is term yet!!

    not to mention rahm....did he talk to the gov of ILL about selling that seat?

    why isn't anyone held accountable?

    January 28, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. GA for Obama

    Kurt C.-That was already labeled for the Bush Jr. Administration. Tough luck.

    This administration will go down as the greatest we ever had.

    January 28, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. southerncousin

    Can't wait for him to get started. Any one Pat Leahy favors has got to be a walking disaster.

    January 28, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Steel Curtain

    Obviously judicial judgement and ethics are not requirements to serve in the Obama administration.

    January 28, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Ken in NC

    @Kurt C.
    This administration will go down as the most corrupt one we have ever had.

    In case you haven't herd Kurt, the Administration of President Bush is now out of power. They are already down in history as the most corrupt.

    January 28, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. keenaber

    To Kurt, which common sense are using at the moment? U are the Founder of this corrupt .use sense ok

    January 28, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. Sarta

    Its about time to let a first black attorney general in the cabinet. .

    January 28, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Lois

    We now have the most corrupt administration that has ever been assembled. Obama is a joke! Nancy Pelosi is the dumbest person ever to hold that position. The administration is disgusting.......

    January 28, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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