A Hold on Holder?

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Dec. 15 2008 3:31 PM

A Hold on Holder?

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Senate judiciary committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., scheduled a confirmation hearing for Eric Holder, President-elect Obama's choice for attorney general, on Jan. 8. The committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., says that's too soon. On Dec. 10, Specter urged that the hearing be put off until Jan. 26, citing a need to investigate Holder's role (while serving as President Clinton's deputy attorney general) in the 2001 pardon  of Marc Rich and the "alleged—and I emphasize alleged—illegal fundraising by Vice President Albert Gore out of the White House" in 1996. Judging from this document request by Specter and other Republican committee members—see below and the following page—Specter would also like to grill Holder about Clinton-era foreign donations to the Democratic Party; the granting of clemency in 1999 to jailed Puerto Rican nationalists; the 2000 Border Patrol raid in which Elian Gonzales was seized from his Miami relatives so he could be returned to his father in Cuba; the 1993 confrontation in Waco, Texas, between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Branch Davidian sect; and the independent-counsel investigation of and subsequent impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.

Leahy answered Specter's request with a testy three-page letter (see Pages 3-5) hinting broadly that Specter's calendar wasn't too jammed to schedule a 14-day foreign junket prior to the hearing. The Democratic chairman noted that the hearing date had already been changed once to accomodate a planned Republican caucus retreat on Jan. 7. When President Bush named Michael Mukasey to succeed Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, he (Leahy) "did not delay in scheduling that hearing" and "received criticism from my side of the aisle" for moving swiftly. Leahy then recited various other instances in recent history when the judiciary committee moved quickly to confirm various attorney generals. In effect, Leahy was telling Specter: Put a sock in it.

Please send Hot Document suggestions to documents@slate.com.

1_123125_2137821_2180654_2203776_2206718_holderhold1

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.