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January 15th, 2009
10:41 AM ET

Did Holder enable federal prosecutors to bully defendants?

Attorney General designate Eric Holder will likely face tough questions during Thursday's nomination hearing.
Attorney General designate Eric Holder will likely face tough questions during Thursday's nomination hearing.

Arlen Specter and Edwin Meese III
For The Wall Street Journal

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Eric Holder's nomination for attorney general has failed to focus on the threat to constitutional rights posed by what is known as the "Holder Memorandum." Near the end of the Clinton administration, this memo changed Justice Department policy regarding the formerly unquestioned right to counsel and to confidential communication with one's counsel.

The Holder memo allowed federal prosecutors to demand waiver of these rights in exchange for characterizing a corporation as "cooperating in an investigation" so that it would not be charged with a crime itself. It thus handed prosecutors a powerful weapon in white-collar criminal investigations.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    So George Bush can have his personal attorney
    as AG and have an administration that likely
    committed crimes were not seen by Repubs.
    Can you say hypocrites to the max.

    January 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  2. Nancy Seymour

    Sounds to be as if just one attempt is being made to provide Corporate cover. I have lots of respect for Senator Spector, but corporations 1/have become people – with even more rights than people; 2/they don't want to be held accountable for their deeds.

    Geez. Holder is a capable and brilliant man. Approve him.

    January 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm |