Former U.S. Attorney George Holding says he has no regrets about prosecuting former Sen. John Edwards, even though the case ultimately was not successful.
“Political corruption cases are the most difficult cases,” Holding told POLITICO, a Washington -based publication. “If we had not taken on these cases, not taken on this case, it would have a dereliction of duty.''
Holding said he was not disappointed with the decision of Justice Department Criminal Division chief Larry Breuer to abandon the prosecution after a mistrial on most of the charges.
“I am not disappointed,'' Holding said. “This is the way our system works and I respect the jury's verdict. I respect Mr. Breuer's decision. He's had the final say on this case from day one. I didn't attend the trial...I'm not in a position to question his opinion.''
He dismissed charges that the prosecution was too expensive, saying that at most times his office had two prosecutors working on the case.
Holding, who successfully sought the GOP nomination for Congress shortly after stepping down as U.S. attorney, also denied any political intent in the prosecution.
“There are always going to be charges this is a political case,” he said. “That just comes with the territory. The defense made a motion that the case was brought for political reason and the judge ruled there was no evidence of that...I feel very comfortable that we did carry out our duties.''
But his Democratic opponent, Charles Malone, said otherwise.
“It is apparent now that Holding, while wanting government to cut to the bone otherwise, was willing to throw millions of the taxpayers' money away to settle old political scores while attempting to enhance his political career.''