Marc Rich's death brings up a name Eric Holder can't want back in the news

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Now besieged by other scandals, Holder, President Obama’s friend and his long-serving Attorney General, cannot be happy that that Rich’s name and the mess of a presidential pardon will be picked over again in the wake of Rich’s death Wednesday at age 78 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

When I was writing my book Clinton in Exile: A President Out of the White House, Holder, who was then a partner at Covington & Burling, told me in a 2006 telephone interview that he did not expect ever to return to public life.

He seemed traumatized still from the disgrace of having to appear, shortly after Clinton left office, before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Government Reform Committee. Holder was called to explain why he had acquiesced to and even promoted the pardon of a man who sought refuge from the American justice system abroad. Rich fled to Switzerland in 1983 after being indicted by then U.S. attorney Rudy Giuliani on more than 50 counts of fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, as well as trading with the enemy (i.e. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini) during the 1979 hostage crisis and Libya during an American trade embargo.

After that difficult Senate Judiciary appearance,Holder told a reporter for The Washington Post that he had wanted to “crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head ... I’m done. Public life’s over for me. I had a moment in time. That moment has passed.”

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