We’re not sure whether this counts as a positive thing … but Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, has won the support of a former DOJ official who was seriously tainted by the US Attorney firings scandal.
In a letter obtained by Politico, former deputy AG Paul McNulty wrote that despite the issues raised by some GOPers about Holder’s tenure at DOJ under Bill Clinton, he nonetheless deserved support:
When Eric Holder was Deputy Attorney General, he encountered a daily barrage of complex issues and demands,” McNulty wrote. “His challenge was to exercise sound judgment, often within severely limited time constraints. As a result, it should come as no surprise that Eric can now look back and wish that he had handled some things differently. What is important, however, is that he remains the same person of high integrity, and through it all, he is far better prepared to lead the Department of Justice.
While serving as deputy AG under Alberto Gonzales, McNulty was involved in an effort to keep details of the US Attorneys firing scheme from Congress. And his chief of staff, Michael Elston, told IG investigators for a separate inquiry that he looked for GOP or conservative credentials when making hiring decisions for McNulty’s office.
So McNulty’s endorsement may not be the one of which Holder is most proud. Still, Pat Leahy’s comment to TPM that, depsite Arlen Specter’s anti-Holder crusade, there was in fact significant Republican support for Holder’s nomination, appears to be being borne out.