Republican National Committee: What's the Hold Up? Part III - Obama Continues to Ignore Controversy Surrounding Eric Holder, Expands His Role by Adding Him to National Security Team

Jun 18, 2008, 01:00 ET from Republican National Committee

    WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was
 released today by the Republican National Committee:
     Today, The Politico Reported That Eric Holder Has Become An Obama
 National Security Adviser:
     Eric Holder Has Joined Obama's "Senior Working Group On National
 Security." (Mike Allen, "Politico Playbook," The Politico, 6/18/08)
     NOTE: Eric Holder Is Also A Member Of Obama's Vice Presidential Vetting
 Committee. "Obama recently began looking in earnest, asking Caroline
 Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy; former Deputy
 Attorney General Eric Holder, and Jim Johnson, the former Fannie Mae CEO,
 to start the vice presidential vetting along with a tight circle of
 advisers." (Libby Quaid, "Veep Hunt Tops Summer To-Do List For Obama,
 McCain," The Associated Press, 6/7/08)
     As Deputy Attorney General, Holder Supported Clemency For Former FALN
     In August 1999, President Bill Clinton Offered Clemency To 16 Former
 Members Of The Puerto Rican Terrorist Group The Armed Forces Of National
 Liberation (FALN). "As the furor over President Clinton's recent clemency
 offer to 16 militant Puerto Rican nationalists continues, new evidence
 suggests the timing of the decision might have had more to do with the 1998
 impeachment proceedings than with the First Lady's New York Senate
 campaign, as critics have charged. The White House also badly misjudged the
 repercussions of the decision on both sides of the clemency question.
 Though most of the critics have been the President's political enemies and
 police injured in FALN terrorist acts, restrictions placed on the clemency
 also have angered many in the Puerto Rican community and made it hard for
 the prisoners to accept the deal. Lawyers for the FALN members have
 denounced the Clinton offer as unfair. 'I don't think the President
 understood the reaction that Puerto Ricans would have on all sides of the
 issue,' said Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn). The dustup began Aug. 11,
 when the President offered clemency to 16 former members of the FALN, the
 Spanish acronym for Armed Forces of National Liberation, which was linked
 to about 130 bombings that killed six and injured dozens from 1974 to 1983.
 The presidential offer was the culmination of a six-year campaign that
 began in 1993, when a Chicago lawyer filed clemency petitions for 17
 imprisoned FALN members." (Edward Lewine, "How Bill Chose Clemency," [New
 York] Daily News, 9/5/99)
     Holder Played A Major Role In The FALN Clemency Decision, According To
 FALN Documents And Memos. "Holder, a Barbadian immigrant's son who grew up
 in Queens and received his law degree from Columbia, 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)
     Although The FBI Opposed Clemency, Holder Supported Clemency For The
 FALN Members. "Although The New York Times reported that the FBI, Bureau of
 Prisons and U.S. state attorneys opposed clemency, Deputy Attorney General
 Eric Holder, the Justice Department official most involved with this issue,
 reportedly supported clemency. 'Eric Holder told me he was recommending
 that,' a high-ranking official said. Ruff also supported clemency, sources
 said. Holder declined to comment." (Edward Lewine, "How Bill Chose
 Clemency," [New York] Daily News, 9/5/99)
     In 1997, Holder Met With Three Members Of Congress And Made
 Recommendations To Them About How The FALN Members Could More Easily Be
 Granted Clemency. "The committee's documents show that Mr. Adams and Eric
 Holder, the Deputy Attorney General, met on Nov. 5, 1997, with
 Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, and Representatives
 Jose E. Serrano of the Bronx and Nydia M. Velazquez of Brooklyn, both
 Democrats, to discuss the case of the Puerto Rican inmates. According to
 Mr. Adams's notes, Mr. Holder told the members of Congress that because the
 prisoners had not applied themselves for clemency this could be taken that
 they were not repentant, and he suggested that a statement expressing some
 remorse might help. In their testimony today, both Mr. Adams and Mr. Holder
 declined to answer several questions about how the clemency decision was
 reached, citing executive privilege. Both said, however, that the Justice
 Department had acted appropriately throughout the process." (Neil A. Lewis,
 "Records Show Puerto Ricans Got U.S. Help With Clemency," The New York
 Times, 10/21/99)
     A Subsequent Clinton Administration Justice Department Report
 Identified The Group As An "Ongoing Threat." "The Puerto Rican nationalist
 group FALN, 16 of whose members were pardoned by President Clinton in
 August, poses an 'ongoing threat' to national security, according to a
 September report by Attorney General Janet Reno released yesterday during a
 combative Senate hearing on the clemency decision." (David A. Vise and
 Lorraine Adams, "FALN A Threat, Reno Says," The Washington Post, 10/21/99)
     Holder Was Involved In The Last-Minute Pardon Of "Fugitive Financier"
 Marc Rich:
     Holder Played A "Key Role" In The Pardoning Of Marc Rich. "Now Obama
 needs to turn his attention to another member of that committee - Eric
 Holder, a former No. 2 in the Clinton Justice Department who played a key
 role in processing the infamous last-minute pardon of the notorious
 tax-cheat fugitive Marc Rich." (Editorial, "Obama's Bus," New York Post,
     "Holder, One Of Two Remaining Members Of Obama's Vice Presidential
 Search Committee, Was Always Expected To Be A Lightning Rod." (Jonathan
 Weisman, "Next On The GOP List: Eric Holder," The Washington Post's "The
 Trail" Blog,, 6/12/08)
     Holder Reviewed The Pardon Of "Fugitive Financier" Rich. "The criticism
 Thursday centered on Obama adviser Eric H. Holder Jr., who is scrutinizing
 candidates to be the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee's running
 mate. 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,
     Holder "Waved Through" Rich's Pardon In The Final Days Of The Clinton
 Administration. "As Bill Clinton's deputy attorney general, he was the
 gatekeeper for presidential pardons. Most famously, he waved through the
 pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich in the waning days of the Clinton
 White House." (Jonathan Weisman, "Next On The GOP List: Eric Holder," The
 Washington Post's "The Trail" Blog,, 6/12/08)
     "Charged With 51 Counts Of Fraud, Tax Evasion And Illegally Trading
 With Iran, Mr. Rich Fled To Switzerland In 1983 But Won A Pardon From Mr.
 Clinton In 2001." (Jim McElhatton, "GOP Hits Another Obama Adviser," The
 Washington Times, 6/13/08)
     Documents Emerged Which Indicated That Holder Had Recommended Former
 White House Counsel Jack Quinn To Rich, And "Gave Substantive Advice To
 Quinn Along The Way." "Two days later, documents in support of the pardon
 were sent by Jack Quinn to Eric Holder. It was Holder who had originally
 recommended Quinn to one of Rich's advisers, although he claims that he did
 not know the identity of the client. And he gave substantive advice to
 Quinn along the way. According to Quinn's notes that were produced to
 Congress, Holder told Quinn to take the pardon application 'straight to the
 White House' because 'the timing is good.' ... When Holder received the
 Rich materials, he did no independent research to determine their veracity
 and appears to have barely reviewed them." (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann,
 Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)
     Holder Conducted No Independent Research To Scrutinize Quinn's Request
 On Behalf Of Rich. "When Holder received the Rich materials, he did no
 independent research to determine their veracity and appears to have barely
 reviewed them. ... [H]e never took the time to check anything and simply
 told the White House that he was 'neutral to positive' on the pardons."
 (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New
 York Post, 6/5/08)
     "Neither Clinton Nor Holder Ever Consulted With The Pardon Attorney."
 (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New
 York Post, 6/5/08)
     "Officials At The U.S. Attorney's Office In New York Were
 Understandably Infuriated When They Learned About The Pardon And Accused
 Rich Of Deliberating Bypassing Their Office." (Dick Morris and Eileen
 McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)
     "In 2002, A Congressional Committee Reported That Holder Was A 'Willing
 Participant In The Plan To Keep The Justice Department From Knowing About
 And Opposing' The Rich Pardon." (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed,
 "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)
     The Wall Street Journal: "As Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton
 Administration, he played a role in the Marc Rich pardon that also deserves
 to be fully vetted - all the more so if Mr. Holder is on the short list to
 be Mr. Obama's Attorney General." (Editorial, "Ex-Friends Of Barack," The
 Wall Street Journal, 6/12/08)
     Holder Also Engaged In Lobbying For A Controversial Company:
     In 2002, Eric Holder Lobbied On Behalf Of Global Crossing After The
 Company Had Accumulated Nearly $12 Million In Debt. "Smelling blood in the
 water, Republicans now plan to pounce on another member of Obama's
 veep-selection committee, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, for
 his lobbying on behalf of telecom giant Global Crossing. Holder lobbied for
 the company, which underwent one of the largest bankruptcies in American
 history after racking up nearly $12 million in debt, as it emerged from
 bankruptcy in 2002, Senate lobbying disclosure documents reveal." (Charles
 Hurt and Geoff Earle, "O's Veep Hunter Quits," New York Post, 6/12/08)
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SOURCE Republican National Committee