POLITICS
12/16/2013 01:39 pm ET

Eric Holder Says Obama Still Has Time To Improve Pardon Record

Pool via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- It's a bit too soon to judge President Barack Obama on his terrible pardon record, Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of African-American newspaper columnists last week.

"We are at year five I guess of eight, so I would say hold on," Holder told members of the Trotter group, a national organization of black newspaper columnists. "If this was the eighth year and we were looking back, I think we would have something to discuss. But we are at a point where this president still has a power that is uniquely his."

As The Huffington Post pointed out last month, Obama has pardoned almost as many turkeys as he has drug offenders. He's pardoned 39 people and granted clemency less frequently than any other president in modern history. Holder was questioned last week about the administration's clemency rate as he discussed the administration's effort to reform the justice system.

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