“Why, Mr. Holder, as Deputy Attorney General for President Bill Clinton did you pressure Justice Department employees to remove objections to clemency requests for 16 members of a domestic terrorist organization?”

The L.A. Times Reports today — “Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. repeatedly pushed some of his subordinates at the Clinton Justice Department to drop their opposition to a controversial 1999 grant of clemency to 16 members of two violent Puerto Rican nationalist organizations, according to interviews and documents.  Details of the role played by Holder, who was deputy attorney general at the time, had not been publicly known until now.  The new details are of particular interest because Republican senators have vowed to revisit Holder’s role during his confirmation hearings next week.”  Wow.

According to Joseph Connor, whose father was murdered by terrorists in the Armed Forces for the National Liberation of Puerto Rico known by the acronym FALN, Holder was “a driving force behind President Clinton’s pardons” of members of a terrorist group that “proudly claimed responsibility for over 130 bombings and incendiary attacks in the U.S. and Puerto Rico between 1974 and 1983, killing six and wounding scores.”

The L.A. Times has uncovered new information that indicates that “Holder played an active role in changing the position of the Justice Department on the commutations.”  According to the Times, “Holder instructed his staff at Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney to effectively replace the department’s original report recommending against any commutations, which had been sent to the White House in 1996, with one that favored clemency for at least half the prisoners, according to these interviews and documents.”  

The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to review the DOJ’s original report and should explore Holder’s motivations to suppress the document.  Holder instructed subordinates at the DOJ to draft a new memo with a different recommendation against the wishes of many at the Justice Department.  Why would Holder take such an extraordinary action to pardon members of a terrorist organization?

This issue needs to be fully explored by the Senate Judiciary Committee and explained by Eric Holder.  Furthermore Holder should be forced to answer the following questions as posted on Obamanoms.com:

  1. Why did Eric Holder sign a brief arguing that “the Second Amendment does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well regulated militia?
  2. Why did Eric Holder believe that the Justice Department did not need court authorization before storming the Miami home of Elian Gonzalez pursuant to the 4th Amendment to the Constitution?
  3. What was the full nature of the relationship between Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Eric Holder that lead Blagojevich to nominate Holder to be special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board for the purposes of investigating a long-dormant casino license.
  4. Why did Eric Holder recommend “neutral, leaning toward favorable” for a pardon for fugitive financier Mark Rich?