Jill Simpson, an Alabama attorney and GOP whistleblower in the Siegelman case, said questioning by senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) indicates Holder is compromised on torture--and perhaps other justice issues.
"It clearly became apparent why we don't currently have a torture investigation going on in this country, even though everyone pretty much now admits we tortured folks and even killed at least 8 people while torturing them," Simpson said.
Shelby and Alexander asked Holder about the CIA's "rendition" program, which moved terrorism suspects from one country to another. The senators asked Holder how many renditions he authorized during the time he was a deputy to Clinton attorney general Janet Reno.
"Clearly from the line of questioning they are warning him if he goes down the torture path, they will show he was involved with renditioning during the Clinton Era when he worked at the DOJ," Simpson said. "It appears Eric Holder may have conflicts that cause him to consider his self interest, as opposed to the American people and their interest in seeing we follow the rule of law."
Larisa Alexandrovna, at her at-Largely blog, said the questioning from Shelby and Alexander amounted to thinly veiled blackmail:
Are Alexander/Shelby saying that if you investigate our (Republican's) current crimes, then we will investigate alleged crimes from nearly a decade ago when you (Democrats') had the presidency? Yes, that is exactly what they are saying.
Simpson says Shelby and Alexander exposed a weakness in Holder and the Obama regime. "The reality is this they have (Holder) over a barrel, and we need an independent prosecutor that will look at everyone involved in the torture mess."
Could Holder be compromised on other issues? Simpson, a former GOP insider who knows how the party operates, suggests the answer is yes.
Here in Alabama, the Siegelman case and other apparent political prosecutions under the Bush Justice Department are front and center. Evidence suggests that former White House strategist Karl Rove was in the middle of that activity. But the Obama White House has pushed for Rove to testify before Congress unsworn, in a non-public setting.
Rove, Simpson says, could have been behind the questioning from Shelby and Alexander. "The Republicans questions suggest they know Mr. Holder was involved with renditioning folks back to his Clinton days. They have clearly researched Mr Holder and probably have used Karl Rove's best opposition researchers on this matter. Therefore we need to get someone who has never participated in renditioning and torture to be the prosecutor.
"Based on the questions yesterday, it is apparent that Mr Holder is not the guy to do that kind of investigation--nor is he the guy who should decide who does the investigation, as Shelby and Alexander have suggested roads may lead even to him.
"Obama should appoint an independent prosecutor, as it is apparent the Republicans believe his attorney general was involved in renditions of a questionable nature."
If Karl Rove & Co. have Holder over a barrel on torture, will that also be the case on political prosecution and other issues? Is Obama's attorney general in a position of weakness?
The answers appear to be yes.