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Alexander: Holder should step down

Jan. 31, 2010 at 1:29 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should resign over the government's treatment of a terrorism suspect, a Republican senator says.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said on "Fox News Sunday" that Holder's decision to treat accused would-be airplane bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a criminal rather than as an "enemy combatant" by reading him his Miranda rights merits his resignation.

"(Holder) is not making a distinction between enemy combatants, the terrorists who are flying into Detroit, blowing up planes, and American citizens who are committing a crime," Alexander said. "He needs to go to Congress and say, 'I made that decision. Here's why.' And based on that, perhaps he should step down."

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., appearing on the same show, disagreed, saying calls for Holder to resign were "political" and noting that decisions by the former Bush administration to try some terror suspects in criminal courts didn't bring calls for resignations.

Van Hollen also said that FBI agents who interrogated Abdulmutallab for 50 minutes before he was "Mirandized" said they "got the information that they needed, and he will certainly be convicted as a result of the court proceedings."

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