Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), ranking member on Judiciary, said he will closely question Eric Holder over his involvement in Clinton-era scandals at the Justice Department, and he bashed Sen. Patrick Leahy for not giving GOP lawmakers enough time and resources to prepare for today's hearing.
"There's has been questions raised whether the questions I have raised for Mr. Holder are political in nature," Specter said in his opening statement, referring to concerns he mentioned on the Senate floor regarding Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon controversy.
"As I said on the floor, I have an open mind, but I think there are important questions to be asked, and important questions to be answered," Specter said.
Specter went on to list a number of national security topics that he wanted to review with Holder, including the nominee's view on the Patriot Act and detainee interrogations.
Specter also said he wanted to explore Holder's views on fighting violent street crime, reducing white-collar crime and protecting attorney-client privilege.
The Pennsylvania Republican complained that Democrats had not given GOP lawmakers enough time to prepare for today's session.
Specter said there has been "insufficient time" for Republicans to gather materials on Holder, noting that Leahy refused to support his request for records from the Clinton presidential library.