Saturday, January 17, 2009

Former FBI Director Says Holder Allowed Himself To Be Used

Perhaps the most under-reported news coming out this week's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Attorney General designate Eric Holder is the testimony of former FBI Director Louis Freeh, a Clinton appointee. The pardon given to fugitive Marc Rich was "a corrupt act" and Holder, the number two guy at Justice, allowed himself to be used by the Clinton administration:

The pardon of Marc Rich was a corrupt act," Freeh said, but was not Holder's responsibility. Freeh asserted that President Bill Clinton's White House staff kept the FBI and Justice Department "in the dark" and "actively conspired" to ensure that nobody knew what pardons were being considered shortly before Clinton left office.

"The [Clinton] White House went to extraordinary lengths to deceive the attorney general, myself, the Department of Justice and everyone about who was on the secret pardon list. ... I don't think it's fair to put that blame totally on Eric Holder," Freeh said. "He takes responsibility, and he will never make that mistake again."

Freeh adds that he thinks Holder learned from his mistake and wouldn't make it again, which seems to defeat the whole point he made in his testimony. If you're not responsible for the decisions you make, then who is? Freeh, as general counsel to MBNA, hired Holder to defend racial discrimination cases against the company a few years ago.

Constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley is less charitable to Holder, who he describes as having "quite a political reputation." Turley wonders why former President Clinton hasn't been interviewed as part of Holder's hearing process, particularly involving the pardon handed to his own brother:

It is striking that no one has demanded interviews with Clinton, whose abuse of the pardon power was a disgrace to his office. Once again, it is also striking that no one is asking Holder about the greatest abuse: the use of the pardon power to benefit Clinton’s own brother. Did Holder object to such a use of official power for personal benefit? These are legitimate questions in my view. I am not convinced by Holder’s portrayal of the Rich matter as simply not looking at the file. The Rich pardon stood out as an abuse — as did Roger Clinton’s pardon.

For all of the protestations from the Left about former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez being too political, those same worries about Holder appear totally absent. It just goes to show that it's all about ideology. The Left could care less whether Holder is political or devoid of ethics. When it comes down to it, they want a very political Attorney General who will cover up Democratic corruption. The Bush Justice Department gets no credit for all of the big-name Republicans it prosecuted over the past eight years. You can bet the Obama Justice Department won't be nearly as aggressive in prosecuting Democrats with Holder in charge.

1 comment:

M Theory said...

Gary, your reporting (and insight) is getting better every fine wine.