The Justice Department has admitted that Eric Holder failed to tell Congress during his confirmation process that he had contributed to a legal brief which argued that the President lacks authority to hold Jose Padilla, a U.S citizen declared an “enemy combatant,” indefinitely without charge. The Justice Department has also acknowledged what is obvious — that “the brief should have been disclosed as part of the confirmation process.”
DOJ contends that the failure to disclose was not intentional. It says that “In preparing thousands of pages for submission, it was unfortunately and inadvertently missed.”
Some Senators will view this claim with skepticism. The Padilla case was, after all, an extremely high profile matter. Moreover, as Andy McCarthy notes, Holder wrote a letter to Senator McConnell a few months ago discussing the Padilla case at length and in a manner similar to the arguments in the brief he had worked on. This event should have reminded Holder of his involvement with that brief and should have prompted him to correct his erroneous statement during the confirmation process.
Senator Sessions has already expressed “deep concern” over the failure to disclose. I doubt that he is alone in this concern.
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