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Grassley Letter Forces AG Holder To Admit That At Least 9 DOJ Attorneys Represented GITMO Terrorists or Filed Amicus Briefs on Their Behalf

February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - - Finally responding to a November request by Charles Grassley [R, IA] and other Senators to identify which current DOJ attorneys either represented [or advocated for via submission of amicus briefs] Islamic terrorists before coming to the administration, or came from law firms who supplied pro-bono legal services to them, AG Holder continues to stonewall, refusing to identify - outside of the two DOJ lawyers whose work on these cases was already public knowledge - who within the department have represented terrorists.

The situation is neither academic nor does it represent a fishing expedition, as some of these same DOJ attorneys are engaged in shaping American anti-terror policy and their previous work may well indicate a level of bias unacceptable when dealing with sensitive national security issues.

Below the operative section of Holders letter, the entire text can be accessed at [Administration Refuses to Answer Questions About Government Employees Working on Guantanamo Detainee Issues at the Justice Department,]

"With regard to the specific requests in your letter, the Department does not maintain comprehensive records of such information about individual Department employees. We have, however, obtained information responsive to your interests from the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office of the Associate Attorney General, the Office of Legal Counsel, the Office of the Solicitor General, the National Security Division, the Civil Division, and the Criminal Division. To the best of our knowledge, during their employment prior to joining the government, only five of the lawyers who serve as political appointees in those components represented detainees, and four others either contributed to amicus briefs in detainee-related cases or were otherwise involved in advocacy on behalf of detainees. None, as far as we are aware, did so as registered lobbyists. Others had no involvement in representing detainees or other entities in detainee cases, but came to the Department from law firms where other lawyers represented detainees, often on a pro bono basis. (It is not surprising that this should be the case: as best as we can determine, of the 50 largest U.S. law firms, at least 34 have either represented detainees or filed amicus briefs in support of detainees.) Among senior Department leadership, the last category includes the Attorney General, the Acting Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, and the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. In addition, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division previously represented one Afghanistan detainee, and his former employer represents other detainees..." [source,]

We noted in a February 2009 article, [see,'s-Law-Firm-Represents-Cole.html] that one of Holder's former associates at his law firm, Covington and Burling, David Remes, represents Abd al Rahim al Nashiri [a suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aiden, Yemen] as well as 14 other terrorist detainees. Al Nashiri [born in Saudi Arabia] is part of a group of 15 Yemeni GITMO detainees who are also represented by David Remes, a member until he was either booted or saw the handwriting on the wall and "resigned" on July 18, 2008, of Attorney General Eric Holder's law firm, Covington & Burling.

As the law firm's announcement of Mr. Remes' departure read, "Remes, who represents 15 Yemeni detainees, announced his resignation on July 18, saying that he plans to devote himself exclusively to human rights litigation. "My departure is the inevitable outcome of my human rights work at the firm in the past four years, which became a consuming passion," Remes said in a statement." [source,]

National Review's Andy McCarthy, as always, provides trenchant insight into such matters, detailing how the penetration of the DOJ by what is for all intents and purposes the pro-terrorist bar - an outcome driven by Eric Holder - has complicated the disposition of important terror cases and in general further sullied the AG's already near legendary reputation for incompetence and poor judgment.

"Also touted is the firm's [note: Covington & Burling, Holder's former law firm] key role in the 2006 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case, in which the Supreme Court invalidated the Bush military commissions. The lead counsel for Salim Hamdan - Osama bin Laden's personal driver and bodyguard - was Neal Katyal, a former Georgetown law professor who is now the Justice Department's Deputy Solicitor General. Holder's Deputy Attorney General, David Ogden - whose clients included child-pornography producers and pro-abortion extremists - worked at a firm that represented three enemy combatants and that figured prominently in Boumediene v. Bush (2008), in which the Supreme Court granted the alien detainees a U.S. constitutional right to challenge their detention in civilian federal court. The problems go well beyond Holder, Ogden, and their top staffers (drafted from these same firms).[*] Similar conflicts plague, among others, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli (DOJ's No. 3 official) and the chiefs of both the Criminal and Civil Divisions, Lenny Breuer and Tony West (the latter volunteered his services to represent John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," a U.S. national now serving a 20-year sentence after making war against his country)." [source, Who are the GITMO 9?,]

The degree to which radicals of every stripe have actively been solicited to join this president's team is unprecedented. The fact that this information is finally seeping into public consciousness represents very bad news for an administration whose efforts to impose an extremist agenda have awakened the defenders of American traditionalism and clouded the fortunes of Democrat legislators as November 3 rapidly approaches.

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