Looking to defuse a GOP line of attack against him, Eric Holder told Sen. Patrick Leahy that his involvement in the Marc Rich scandal will make him a better attorney general.
Holder, as deputy attorney general in early 2001, overrode objections within the Justice Department over granting a pardon to the fugitive financier. Rich's ex wife, Denise, was a major donor to the Clinton presidential library.
"My conduct, my actions, in the Rich matter is a place where I made mistakes," Holder said.
Holder called the controversy over the Rich pardon "the most intense, most searing experience I've ever had as a lawyer."
Holder then argued that, "as perverse as this sounds, that I will be a better attorney general because I had the Marc Rich experience."