Holder Pushed Clemency for Puerto Rican Militants

Obama's attorney-general pick helped commute sentences for PR nationalists
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 9, 2009 12:36 PM CST
Eric Holder was deputy AG under Bill Clinton.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s attorney-general nominee fought for clemency for 16 militant Puerto Rican nationalists during his time in the Clinton administration, the Los Angeles Times reports. Eric Holder pushed Justice Department subordinates to pave the way to Clinton’s clemency grant, documents show, sparking fury from law-enforcement officials who’d tackled a US bombing campaign by Puerto Rican groups.

“Eric Holder has been nominated for the top law enforcement position in the country, yet, if this is true, he supported and pushed for the release of terrorists,” said the son of a bombing victim. The men had been convicted of several crimes, though no murders; most had already served 19 years in prison. An Obama spokesman said Holder acted appropriately.