Matt Lewis picks up on some Daily Kos traffic about the Eric Holder confirmation and notes that Sen. Pat Leahy was critical of the Marc Rich pardon, which will be front and center in the confirmation hearing. I’ll believe it when I see Leahy take an opposite position to President-elect Obama. But I do think we have moved from the “Nothing here. Move along.” stage to the “Get The Facts Out” stage.
The amount of adverse coverage on the Rich case (from both conservative and liberal sides), not to mention the amount of documentary material that the Republicans have requested, is going to provide plenty of reasons for both sides to question Holder. The Democrats will need to allow Holder to explain himself and “clear up” any concerns. The Republicans want to find out if Holder has a good explanation of his conduct in the Clinton-era pardons as well as in matters such as the Elian Gonzales case.
None of this means that Holder won’t get through, but there is now enough concern that the “rush it through” Democratic strategy won’t work. And then today we learn that Holder neglected to list on his confirmation questionnaire his work for Blago — yeah, the story that keeps on giving — on an Illinois gaming board. If it was an effort to conceal, it was dumb and counterproductive to his effort to convince the Senate that he is above reproach. And if it was sloppiness that doesn’t say much for his professional skills. More fodder for the hearing, no doubt.