Dec. 8, 2008
POSTION: ATTORNEY GENERAL
NOMINEE: Eric Holder, Jr.
Born: New York City, Jan. 21, 1951.
Family: Wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, and three children.
Occupation: Partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm Covington & Burling
Education: Doctorate from Columbia Law School in 1976
Judicial appointment: President Reagan nominated Holder for associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1988; served five years.
Clinton White House: Nominated by President Clinton in 1993 for U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a position he held for four years; appointed Clinton's deputy attorney general in 1997.
"Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder testified in support of the legislation, indicating that it would strengthen federal-state law enforcement capabilities without encroaching upon state responsibilities. He also denied the claim, made by some federal officials in the past, that the federal law enforcement agencies would be overwhelmed if the bill were passed to include new hate crime categories prohibiting bias crimes based sex, sexual orientation and disability." NOW website, June 7, 1999
Prosecution of Porn Peddlers
"Some civil libertarians worry that Eric Holder will be inclined to continue the Bush administration's crusade against pornography. They cite a June 1998 memo in which he told U.S. attorneys that obscenity prosecutions should focus on "cases involving large-scale distributors who realize substantial income from multistate operations and cases in which there is evidence of organized crime involvement" but added that "cases involving relatively small distributors can have a deterrent effect." The Clinton administration's actual track record in this area, however, consisted almost entirely of cases involving child pornography. "We continue to make these [child porn] cases a priority," Holder says in the memo. Social conservatives often complained that the Clinton administration was not interested in taking on pornography made by and for consenting adults. We probably can look forward to hearing such complaints again under the Obama administration." [source]
Elian Gonzalez Fiasco
"Mr. Holder said his agents were heavily armed when they entered the house because they had 'intelligence that the possibility existed there were guns in the house. We had to make sure our people were protected and they were in a position to protect people within the house. I don't know if there were any guns in the house. I don't know if they found any guns. We had to deal, however, with the intelligence we had that we got from local sources and make sure everybody was adequately protected.' Apparently no guns were found." (Jerry Seper and Clarence Williams, "Holder Defends Sudden Raid For Elian," The Washington Times, 4/24/00)
Bill Clinton's Presidential Pardons
Holder played a major role in the decision to grant clemency to 16 former members of the Puerto Rican terrorist group the Armed Forces Of National Liberation (FALN). "Holder . . .has played major roles in the probe of Democratic funny-money in the 1996 elections, the Sexgate scandal and the recommendation to President Clinton on whether to free FALN terrorists from jail. A list of FALN documents withheld from Congress shows that many memos on the FALN clemency decision went directly to Holder, while Reno's role was minimal." (Brian Blomquist, "Ailing Reno Yielding Reins Of Justice," New York Post, 12/15/99)
"As deputy attorney general under President Clinton, Mr. Holder reviewed the last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich." (Jim McElhatton, "GOP Hits Another Obama Adviser," The Washington Times, 6/13/08)
As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called 'assault weapons' (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that 'Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence'--a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as 'children.' (Sources: Holder testimony before House Judiciary Committee, Subcommitee on Crime, May 27, 1999; Holder Weekly Briefing, May 20, 2000.) After the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the D.C. handgun ban and self-defense ban were unconstitutional in 2007, Holder complained that the decision "opens the door to more people having more access to guns and putting guns on the streets." [source]
US Attorney Mixed Record?
"Eric Holder gets good national press, but some of those who know something about his activities in DC know better. As a lackluster local US Attorney, he not only sat on information concerning police and water department corruption, his staff regularly signed off on excessive police overtime to keep cops friendly to the prosecutors. Holder was also instrumental in getting law changes that made jury trials more difficult for certain defendants." - Progressive Review, 1998
One of Holder's predecessors, Joseph DiGenova, says, "When you have corruption staring you in the face, and you fail to act, you should resign. You can't worry about judgeships or your next job. And this from former city auditor Otis Troupe: "For years, in audit after audit, and in newspaper article after newspaper articles, we have established fact patterns that constitute crimes. And in all but a handful of case, nobody did anything in the prosecutor's office." - Progressive Review, 1997
As US Attorney, Eric Holder was the guy who indicted Dan Rostenkowsi and was responsible for his eventual conviction.
There have been questions about his role in the Justice Department's conduct in Waco: "The federal prosecutor who raised questions about a possible Justice Department cover-up in the Waco standoff was abruptly removed from the case along with his boss, according to a court filing made public Tuesday.
Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder recused U.S. Attorney James W. Blagg in San Antonio and assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Johnston in Waco, Texas, from any further dealings in criminal or civil proceedings related to the siege.
Holder appointed the U.S. attorney in a neighboring district as a "special attorney to the U.S. attorney general." Michelle Mittelstadt, September 14, 1999, Associated Press,
His firm, Covington and Burling, lobbies for the NFL and was a major player in the passage of the Internet Gambling bill. Eric Holder did not play any part in those negotiations.