Senate Republicans, including Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), are trying delay confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, raising questions about Holder’s role in the 2001 pardon of Marc Rich. Grassley even tried to tie Holder to Gov. Rod Blajogevich, saying last week, “Public reports have just emerged that in 2004, the Governor of Illinois hired or sought to hire Mr. Holder.”
On Dec. 1, just one day after Holder’s nomination, Karl Rove told the Today Show that Holder’s record “will be examined” because he was the “one controversial nominee“:
ROVE: He was deeply involved as the Deputy Attorney General in the controversial pardon of Marc Rich. … I think it’s going to be clearly examined, if for no other reason that people want to lay down markers that that kind of behavior is inappropriate. … But again, there will be some attention paid to this.
On Friday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) released a statement noting that the Republicans initially praised Holder, but now seem to be taking their marching orders from Rove:
LEAHY: In addition, Senator Grassley has acknowledged Mr. Holder’s impeccable credentials while reserving judgment. But of course since then, Karl Rove has appeared on the Today Show and signaled that Republicans ought to go after Mr. Holder. Right-wing talk radio took up the drum beat.
Today on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Show, Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly revealed that Rove is indeed “helping lead” the effort against Holder:
CONNOLLY: Word on the street is that Karl Rove is going to be helping lead the fight against Eric Holder when his nomination for Attorney General heads up to the Senate.
A year after he resigned from public office, all roads still lead to Rove.