Senator Chuck Grassley voted to confirm Eric Holder yesterday as the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination by a lopsided 17-2 vote. Thomas Beaumont’s report for the Des Moines Register noted that Grassley
has been vocal in his concern about Holder’s role in advising former President Bill Clinton about his pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich and his granting clemency to members of a Puerto Rican nationalist group convicted on weapons and conspiracy charges.
“It gives me a great deal of caution,” Grassley said during a conference call with reporters before the vote.
Grassley said ranking judicial committee Republican Arlen Specter’s support for Holder was influential in his own decision.
“Specter has worked on these pardons harder than I have,” Grassley added. “And if he’s willing to forgive on that and accept the explanations, that would lead me to as well.”
Many people believe that Specter aggressively questioned Holder during the confirmation hearings in order to defend himself against a possible primary challenge in 2010. A few days ago the Club for Growth whack-job who challenged Specter in 2004 announced that he will not run for the Senate seat from Pennsylvania in 2010.
Meanwhile, Americans United for Change plans to run this television ad in Iowa to pressure Grassley to vote for President Barack Obama’s stimulus package:
I would be shocked if Grassley voted for the stimulus bill. I doubt he feels vulnerable to public pressure on this issue.