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Eric Holder Confirmation Hearing (Day 2)

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Friday, January 16, 2009; 2:21 PM

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT.): Good morning. Glad to see all of you familiar faces in this -- in our hearing room. I'm thinking Senator Specter and I have spent a significant portion of our lives in this -- in this room. I look around and I'm missing one of the -- one of the senators I sat here with for over 30 years, Senator Biden, who has now left the Senate for other duties of sorts.

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And so I welcome all of you. Yesterday, we met in the Senate Caucus Room from 9:30 to 7:15 so every senator, Republican and Democratic alike, would ask Eric Holder whatever questions they had. It's a historic room for an historic nomination.

Senator John Warner of Virginia, once again, showed the bipartisanship and leadership he's shown for over 30 years in the Senate. He noted the problems facing the Department of Justice and the country so great that he was urging everybody to put aside partisanship and work together. He presented and endorsed Eric Holder to be attorney general, described his outstanding qualifications, integrity and independence.

Congresswoman Norton was eloquent in her statement of support for Eric Holder, a former judge for nominated by President Ronald Reagan and then a prosecutor in the District of Columbia.

LEAHY: So we asked -- everybody asked questions they wanted to. The senators of both parties have done so. Much of the questioning was substantive. We touched on many important issues. And the senators were -- technically, the third round was a five-minute round, but we went 20 and 25 minutes and longer for some of the senators until everybody said they'd asked all of the questions they wanted.

Having heard Mr. Holder's testimony, I'm more convinced than ever he's a person who will reinvigorate the Department of Justice, serve ably as a member of the president's national security team, pursue the Justice Department's vital missions with skill, integrity, independence, and a commitment to the rule of law.


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