Archive for the ‘attorney general’ Category

Obama Attorney General Pick: Eric Holder?

November 18, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama’s aides have privately asked senators whether Washington attorney Eric Holder would be confirmed as the next attorney general, according to a person involved in the talks.

The talks suggest that Obama is deeply interested in Holder, who served as the No. 2 official in the Justice Department under President Clinton.

Eric Holder, former Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department ... 
Above: eric Holder (Win McNamee/Reuters)
Newsweek, quoting unidentified legal sources close to the presidential transition team, reported Tuesday that Obama offered Holder the job and he accepted. Newsweek said Holder still has to undergo a formal “vetting” review by the Obama transition team before the selection is final.

One person involved in the talks told The Associated Press that the Obama team has received some assurances that, while the Rich pardon would certainly come up during hearings, the nomination likely wouldn’t be held up over that. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private conversations.

On the last day of Clinton’s term, Holder was asked whether the president should pardon Rich, a wealthy commodities dealer who had been spent years running from tax charges. Holder said he was “neutral, leaning towards favorable” on the pardon. Clinton later cited that as among the factors that persuaded him to issue the pardon.

In the past week, Obama aides have asked Senate Republicans whether they would support Holder. In particular, the aides questioned whether Holder’s confirmation would be delayed because of his involvement in the 2001 pardon of fugitive Marc Rich by President Bill Clinton.

Read the rest:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/169694

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Justice Dept. ‘Cannot’ Probe Waterboarding, Mukasey Says

February 8, 2008

By Dan Eggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 8, 2008; Page A04

The attorney general yesterday rejected growing congressional calls for a criminal investigation of the CIA‘s use of simulated drownings to extract information from its detainees, as Vice President Cheney called it a “good thing” that the CIA was able to learn what it did from those subjected to the practice.

The remarks reflected a renewed effort by the Bush administration to defend its past approval of the interrogation tactic known as waterboarding, which some lawmakers, human rights experts and international lawyers have described as illegal torture.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Justice Department lawyers concluded that the CIA’s use of waterboarding in 2002 and 2003 was legal, and therefore the department cannot investigate whether a crime had occurred.