Thursday, January 15, 2009

Attorney general pick Eric Holder's links to Gov. Blagojevich come under scrutiny by GOP

The Chicago Tribune reports:
As Eric Holder gears up to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday seeking confirmation as attorney general, some Republicans say they plan to question him aggressively about whether his ties to disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are more extensive than Holder has previously acknowledged.

Republican staffers investigating Holder's background as part of the confirmation process say that while he has downplayed his connections to Blagojevich, new information has come to light that suggests Holder did at least some legal work for Blagojevich on an investigation into the controversial award of a state casino gambling license by the Illinois Gaming Board.

Republicans said they have obtained a letter Holder wrote to the state requesting records on the casino license. Holder did not bill the state for any work. Even so, GOP senators want details on that arrangement. They also want to know why Holder initially left out any mention of it—and of his relationship to Blagojevich—in the disclosure questionnaire he was required to file with the committee as part of his confirmation.
For more on the touchy subject of Eric Holder and the John "No Nose" DiFronzo situation.Here's what retired senior FBI agent Jim Wagner told The Chicago Sun-Times:
"The concern was Holder had a bias to do whatever Blagojevich wanted, which was to give the casino to Rosemont," said Jim Wagner, who was a top Chicago FBI agent before he joined the Gaming Board, from which he retired in December 2005. "We all believed the only reason Holder was coming in was to fashion an investigation that would manipulate the casino into Rosemont."
Is Eric Holder the type of guy who will look the other way at Chicago style corruption?