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Holder Confirmation Hearing Roundup – Morning
Posted By Mary Jacoby On January 15, 2009 @ 1:45 pm In News | Comments Disabled
AG-nominee Eric Holder said in his opening statement  before the Senate Judiciary Committee, referring to controversies over Clinton pardon recommendations: “My decisions were not always perfect. I made mistakes.” He also thanked “the thousands of career employees at the Department of Justice. They have been my teachers, my colleagues and my friends.”
Holder vowed to preseve DOJ’s independence . But when asked if he would support a criminal investigation of Bush-era legal policy, he said he didn’t want to “criminalize policy differences ” between the Bush and Obama admininstrations. He did say the USG should stay “within the dictates”  of the FISA on wiretapping. That morning a previously secret August 2008 decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review was released. The court said the government did have authority to intercept international communications without a warrant, even if American citizens were involved.
Unlike Mukasey, he didn’t equivocate on waterboarding, calling it “torture.” He said he would personally review the decision by the US Attorney’s office in DC not to prosecute Brad Schlozman for what the DOJ IG said were his “false statements” to Congress about politicization of the Civil Rights Division. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) complained that Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) had blocked subpoenas for former pardon attorney Roger Adams and former US Attorney in New York, Mary Jo White, to discuss their interaction with Holder on controversial Clinton-era pardons.
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