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Tag: Attorney General

A.G. Nominee Holder Picks Up Backing of Another Republican

The backing of another Republican lawmaker should boost Eric Holder’s chances of confirmation, which  already seems very likely.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. won support yesterday from another Republican lawmaker, all but ensuring his candidacy will proceed smoothly and not fall to a GOP filibuster.
Holder, a former judge and U.S. attorney in the District, met Friday morning with Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and picked up his endorsement a day after a grueling confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Eric Holder understands the unique role of the Attorney General and further, I think he’s qualified to serve in that role,” Martinez said in a written statement. “Therefore, I intend to support Mr. Holder’s confirmation and urge my colleagues to do the same.”
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OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Holder Strategy Becomes Clear as His Senate Confirmation Hearing Begins

Eric Holdler/msnbc
Eric Holder/msnbc

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Yes, Eric H. Holder Jr. messed up, Yes he intends to be an INDEPENDENT  Attorney General, and Yes Yes Yes, the Marc Rich pardon was a BIG  BIG mistake, and Yes he would have done things differently now.
With his family and former FBI director Louis Freeh sitting behind him, Holder gave a brief speech as his Senate confirmation hearing began Thursday morning.
In all, the strategy of Holder and his supporters became quite evident at the onset: Emphasize his competence and integrity and admit that he made mistakes in the pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich when he was deputy Attorney General under President Clinton.
Former Sen. John Warner,  a well respected senator,  did just that, testifying this morning in favor Holder’s confirmation. He praised Holder, but said:
“Mr. Chairman, Eric Holder would be the first to say  that his career was marked by certain  misjudgments. He freely acknowledges that….but the key to this man is that he learned from those experiences. He learned in such a way that those misjudgments will not be repeated.”
Then Holder himself talked about Marc Rich and told the committee:
“I’ve accepted the responsibility of making those  mistakes. I never tried to hide, I never tried to blame anybody else.” He said he should have kept prosecutors on the case informed of what was going  on.
“I should have not spoken to the White House and expressed an opinion without knowing all of the facts in regards to that matter.”,
“I learned from that experience..I will be a better attorney general should I be confirmed, having had the Marc Rich experience.”
Sen. Arlen Specter, one of his more vocal critics in recent weeks, asked some tough questions about Rich.
But so far, it’s likely the mea culpa strategy coupled by emphasis on competence and integrity is likely to work.

Ex. Atty. General Alberto Gonzales Defends His Rocky Tenure

Critics portrayed him as partisan and even inept. Will history treat him fairly?

By EVAN PEREZ
Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — Alberto Gonzales, who has kept a low profile since resigning as attorney general nearly 16 months ago, said he is writing a book to set the record straight about his controversial tenure as a senior official in the Bush administration.
Mr. Gonzales has been portrayed by critics both as unqualified for his position and instrumental in laying the groundwork for the administration’s “war on terror.” He was pilloried by Congress in a manner not usually directed toward cabinet officials.
“What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?” he said during an interview Tuesday, offering his most extensive comments since leaving government.
During a lunch meeting two blocks from the White House, where he served under his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, Mr. Gonzales said that “for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.”
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David Ogden Possible Pick For No. 2 Spot in Atty. Gen. Office

It could be an obvious pick considering he’s already involved with the Obama team. We’ll know soon enough.

By Joe Palazzolo
Legal Times
David Ogen/law firm photo

David Ogden/law firm photo

WASHINGTON — With congressional pressure mounting, the short list for the Department of Justice’s No. 2. position appears to be getting shorter all the time.
President-elect Barack Obama’s transition staff has declined to discuss potential Justice nominees, or even reveal who on the transition team is mustering names. But Washington lawyers have been speculating for weeks that Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s David Ogden, who is heading the Justice Department transition team, is the likely pick for deputy attorney general. One Washington lawyer close to the transition says his nomination is all but assured.
Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School, has also been named as a possibility, though many say the position would be an odd fit. Denied a hearing by Republicans after President Bill Clinton nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 1999, Kagan has re-emerged as a potential Supreme Court pick for Obama.
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Gov. Blagojevich Could Decide By Monday Whether to Resign

With his political lifelines running out, Gov. Blagojevich may have little choice. If he decides to step down, he can make it look like he made the decision, not the state’s attorney general or the court.

BY NATASHA KORECKI AND CHRIS FUSCO
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Gov. Blagojevich will decide early next week — perhaps as early as Monday — whether he should resign, a source close to the governor told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“He was blindsided by this,” the source said. “He needs some time to digest what’s going on. He’s going to make his position clear shortly.”
On Friday, in his first public comments since his arrest, the governor did not rule out the possibility he might resign. As he left the federal courthouse after a visit to the pretrial services office, a reporter asked the governor, “Do you have anything to say to the people of Illinois?”
He replied, “I will at the appropriate time. Absolutely.”
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