But Mr. Machen has a personal connection to Mr. Holder, who first hired him as a prosecutor when Mr. Holder was the United States attorney for the District of Columbia. And Mr. Holder defends his decision.
“I know that office as well as anyone, and the prosecutors there are as talented as any in the entire Department of Justice,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. “Under Ron’s leadership, that office has been asked to handle some of the most complex and high-stakes cases in the last few years and has consistently made the department proud.”
In response to questions about Mr. Holder’s decision, a senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Holder and his deputies had decided to give the case to Mr. Machen because his office was the default one for cases that involve crimes that occurred abroad. And, the official said, the people who were killed were employees of the State Department, which is based in Washington.
‘Eric! We just caught the guy who killed our Ambassador in Libya. Shall we put our best team on the case?’
‘Nawhh. I got a guy whose career I wanna’ make.’