In the video below, Eric Holder testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the pardons extended by President Clinton to the 16 FALN terrorists in August 1999. Then Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch grills Holder concerning the lack of screening by the Department of Justice in connection with the pardons. National Review’s editorial on Holder’s prospective nomination as Attorney General addresses the episode that is the subject of Senator Hatch’s inquiry as follows:
In 1999, over the objections of the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, and prosecuting attorneys, Holder supported Clinton’s commutation of the sentences of 16 FALN conspirators. These pardons — of terrorists who even Holder has conceded had not expressed any remorse — were issued in the months after al-Qaeda’s 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, when the Clinton administration was pretending to be the scourge of terrorism. The commutations were nakedly political, obviously designed by Clinton to assist his wife’s impending Senate campaign by appealing to New York’s substantial Puerto Rican vote.
Note Holder’s efforts to dodge the questions addressed to him by Senator Hatch as well as Senator Hatch’s impatience with Holder’s misdirection.
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