Holder's DC Legacy: Not Much

| Wed Nov. 19, 2008 4:32 PM EST

Eric Holder seems poised to sail smoothly into a historic appointment: the first African American attorney general of the United States. He brings to the job everything you might want in the nation's top prosecutor: decades of experience working in the department he will oversee, with a special emphasis on prosecuting corrupt public officials; service as a local DC judge, and a temperament nearly as cool as Obama's. The only possible hitch in his ascension to AG is his role in Bill Clinton's pardon of financier Marc Rich, who was once married to a Clinton donor.

Given Holder's otherwise squeaky-clean reputation and a democratic Congress, that minor hiccup isn't likely to slow him down. What might give some members of Congress pause, however, is Holder's record as US Attorney for the District of Columbia during the Clinton administration. If Democrats are looking for a crusader to clean house at the Justice Department and elsewhere in the federal government, Holder might not be their man.

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