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Archive for November 23rd, 2008

Video of Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey Fainting on Thursday Night In Washington

Eric Holder Could Face Tough Questions About Controversial Pardon For Marc Rich

Eric Holder/law firm photo

Eric Holder/law firm photo

President-elect Obama’s pick of Eric Holder as the new Attorney General is getting a thumbs up from many career Justice employees. And the likelihood of him being confirmed is high. But during confirmation hearings he’s likely to face some tough questions about the controversial pardon of billionaire Marc Rich while he served as deputy Attorney Gen. under President Clinton.

By George Larnder Jr.
New York Times
Op-Ed Page

WASHINGTON — WHEN President Bill Clinton pardoned a billionaire fugitive from justice on his last day in office, even usually loyal Democrats were dismayed. Representative Henry Waxman of California called it “bad precedent” and “an end run around the judicial process.” He said it appeared to set a double standard for the wealthy and powerful.
The billionaire was Marc Rich, a commodities trader, and his pardon is a subject of discussion again because Eric Holder, Mr. Clinton’s deputy attorney general at the time and a key figure in the clemency process, is reported to be Barack Obama’s choice for attorney general. In the years since the Rich pardon, Mr. Holder has said he “never devoted a great deal of time to this matter.” He also told an interviewer that, in hindsight, he wished that the Justice Department had been “more fully informed” about the case. As someone who helped cover the story for The Washington Post, I think the issue is far more complicated and deserves more scrutiny if Mr. Holder is to become our top law-enforcement official.
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Federal Air Marshals Unlawfully Denied Overtime

Air Marshals might find the skies a little friendlier if they could get their overtime.

By Michael Grabel
ProPublica

Federal air marshals have been unlawfully denied overtime, and as a result the U.S. government could be liable for millions of dollars in back pay, according to a court opinion (PDF) unsealed this week in Washington, D.C.
The lawsuit, filed in 2006, involves 1,805 air marshals who said they haven’t been fully compensated for flight delays, time for writing reports and off-duty fitness and firearms training needed to pass quarterly tests. The judge’s opinion cited a 2004 study by the Air Marshal Service which showed that agents in the Chicago field office averaged about 10.5 hours a day.
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Read Court Opinion

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Calif. Feds Ask Judge To Unseal Grand Jury Transcripts And Other Documents in Steroid Probe (AP)