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Holder Reportedly Failed to Disclose Gitmo Detainee Brief

4:45 PM, Mar 10, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Bill Burck and Dana Perino break news today: Eric Holder failed to disclose that he signed onto a brief in support of Jose Padilla in a 2004 Supreme Court case:

"Holder and company made the argument that traditional law-enforcement tools, such as wiretaps, search warrants, Mirandized questioning, and the like, have served the nation’s security well and were sufficient to do the job. The government need not resort, they argued, to holding terrorists caught in the U.S. as enemy combatants, with no right to a criminal trial or to remain silent or to counsel during questioning, particularly if they are U.S. citizens."

Holder and his co-authors wrote in 2004:

"[We] recognize that these limitations might impede the investigation of a terrorist offense in some circumstances. It is conceivable that, in some hypothetical situation, despite the array of powers described above, the government might be unable to detain a dangerous terrorist or to interrogate him or her effectively. But this is an inherent consequence of the limitation of Executive power. No doubt many other steps could be taken that would increase our security, and could enable us to prevent terrorist attacks that might otherwise occur. But our Nation has always been prepared to accept some risk as the price of guaranteeing that the Executive does not have arbitrary power to imprison citizens."

Burck and Perino continue:

"Holder apparently failed to disclose his involvement in this brief when he was up for confirmation early last year, even though the Senate questionnaire he was required to fill out specifically requested such information and directed him to provide to the Senate Judiciary Committee copies of any briefs filed with the Supreme Court. He disclosed three amicus briefs but made no mention of this one — or another one renewing his support for Padilla when the case returned to the Supreme Court again in late 2005. (The 2005 brief is much like the 2004 brief, except the language on acceptable risks is absent.) Had Holder disclosed these briefs to the Senate Judiciary Committee, no doubt he would have been extensively questioned about the views expressed in them. It is disappointing, and perhaps troubling, that he did not."

A Republican Senate Judiciary Committee aide confirms to ABC News that Holder failed to disclose this brief.

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