City Desk

A.G. Appointee Eric Holder Soft on Corruption

Eric H. Holder, Jr., former Deputy Attorney General and senior legal advisor to President-elect Barack Obama, was tapped today to serve as Obama's Attorney General, Newsweek reports. (Holder also served as co-chief of Obama's veep selection committee.)

In a cover story in 1997—the same year Clinton nominated Holder for Dep. Attorney General—City Paper questioned Holder's approach to corruption during his tenure as U.S. Attorney for D.C.

But for all the love Holder has engendered in the community as U.S. Attorney, he has had precious little impact on the city's endemic municipal corruption.

Holder defended himself to reporter Stephanie Mencimer as follows:

"Certainly, the Dirty Dozen occurred while I was here," he says, referring to the 12 police officers caught up in an FBI sting operation in 1993 for bribery and other drug charges. "There was the housing case involving the sale of Section 8 authorizations, and there are other things in my mind that I think about our public corruption section and the work that they've done on the local side. So I'm not sure there's anything we have to apologize for, or try to defend. We've been as vigilant as we've ever been."

Further complications to this appointment include Holder's instrumental role in Clinton's presidential pardon of "billionaire fugitive" Mark Rich, and a June interview with Legal Times in which he said an ascent to A.G. "ain't gonna happen."

Just for good measure, a bit of CP prescience, courtesy of Mencimer:

Even without any big corruption trials, in the final analysis, Holder will get what all the District's U.S. Attorneys get for their trouble here: a better job. Holder's three and a half years in the District have given him wings. He's likely to be flying on to the Justice Department soon, where the albatross around his neck will be replaced by one who looks quite a bit like Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, the District will be left with the same old cadre of crooks, a durable group who know that if they bide their time they can outlast just about any U.S. Attorney.

Photograph courtesy of Covington & Burling LLP

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • al gonzales

    Change? My dog's ass.
    Holder is a nice enough guy, but he didn't get ahead by fighting corruption. Go along, get along.
    Another bad choice by Barak. If he picks Hillary or any other Clinton person, I'm going back to the Communist Party.

  • dividers be gone

    So renew your Communist party membership, fast as you can. We don't need bitter cynics anyway.

  • Andrew Yu-Jen Wang

    Speaking of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder:

    Eric Holder is a racial-minority individual, and in his heart and mind he inevitably does not endorse hate crimes committed by George W. Bush.

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

  • Pingback: Pat Dollard | Young Americans | Blog Archive » Just Like Kennedy, Obama Chooses A Brother For Attorney General

  • Attorney Dot Belak

    Nice post. I wholely agree. Well done!