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  Holder is Disqualified by Mark Rich Pardon
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Last EditedScottĀ³  Dec 02, 2008 01:37pm
Logged 2 [Older]
News DateWednesday, December 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy Richard Cohen

"Holder was not just an integral part of the pardon process, he provided the White House with cover by offering his go-ahead recommendation. No alarm seemed to sound for him. Not only had strings been pulled but it was rare to pardon a fugitive -- someone who avoided possible conviction by avoiding the inconvenience of a trial. The U.S. attorney's office in New York -- which, Holder had told the White House, would oppose any pardon -- was kept ignorant of what was going on. Afterward, it was furious.

When I tell people that I am bothered by the choice of Holder for attorney general, they invariably say that everyone is entitled to a mistake. Yes, indeed. And I add for them that in almost every other way, Holder is a dream nominee. He has been U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a judge and a well-regarded lawyer in private practice. Moreover, to my personal knowledge, he is charming and well-liked by his subordinates. A better attorney general nominee you're not likely to find ... the pardon excepted.

But the pardon cannot be excepted. It suggests that Holder, whatever his other qualifications, could not say no to power. The Rich pardon request had power written all over it -- the patronage of important Democratic fundraisers, for instance. Holder also said he was "really struck" by the backing of Rich by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the possibility of "foreign policy benefits that would be reaped by granting the pardon." This is an odd standard for American justice, but more than that, what was Holder thinking? That U.S.-Israel relations would suffer? Holder does not sound naive. He sounds disingenuous."

..."As noted, any person is entitled to make a mistake. But no one is entitled to be attorney general."
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