Ken Blackwell, RNC Chair candidate, has an article up on National Review Online today about the nomination of Eric Holder for the Obama administration and what it says about things to come.
Most of the president-elect’s Cabinet appointments have been praised, from Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary to Bill Richardson as commerce secretary. Others have been seen as reasonable but with reservations — such as Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and Janet Napolitano as homeland-security secretary. But even the Washington Post has raised questions about Eric Holder’s nomination as U.S. attorney general
But two of his final acts at the Justice Department are simply unpardonable: the infamous pardons of Marc Rich and the FALN terrorists. The Justice Department Office of Pardon Counsel (OPC) evaluates requests for a presidential pardon. OPC considers evidence that the conviction was wrong or the sentence unjust, usually requiring a convicted person to have served five years of their prison sentence.
But Holder helped Rich evade that process. Marc Rich, a billionaire, had been indicted of 65 counts of tax evasion and arms-dealing with Iran. He fled to Switzerland, where he lived an extravagant lifestyle. Holder personally worked with Rich’s attorney to get the pardon directly to then-president Clinton. Holder made clear that he did not oppose the pardon, while Rich’s wife was giving over $400,000 to the Clinton Library. She also raised significant money for the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton’s Senate race. President Clinton granted the pardon.