By Deroy Murdock
Published April 23, 2019
I hereby nominate Eric Holder for the inaugural Nobel Prize for Chutzpah. Obama’s initial attorney general, the first black American to hold that office, has a ton of nerve to lecture Attorney General William Barr about releasing the Mueller Report.
“The attorney general of the United States is the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer,” Holder said Thursday in Chicago’s Rogers Park district. “You have a responsibility to run the Justice Department in a way that is not political.”
This is not the same Holder who served Obama.
“Are you gonna stay around for all four years?” radio host Tom Joyner asked Holder on April 4, 2013, early in Obama's second term.
“I’m still the president’s wingman,” Holder replied. “So, I’m here with my boy.”
The “president’s wingman” was the president’s lawyer, and got nailed for it. Holder was held in contempt of Congress for not surrendering documents on the Fast and Furious scandal. This involved some 2,000 marked guns that Holder and Obama leeched into Mexico. They hoped that these weapons would lead them to drug cartels south of the border.
These guns went astray. A murderer used a Fast and Furious firearm against U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. An estimated 300 Mexicans were killed or injured by these U.S.-tagged firearms — mainly AK-47s.
When Congress investigated this disaster, Holder refused to yield relevant documents. So, on June 28, 2012, the U.S. House voted 255-67 for a criminal-contempt resolution. Seventeen Democrats voted Yes. Earlier, the House approved a civil-contempt measure, 258-95. Twenty-one Democrats concurred.
Politico described this as “the first time Congress has taken such a dramatic move against a sitting Cabinet official.”
Holder sure knows how to make history.
But wait. There’s more.
In May 2013, Holder’s Justice Department got caught spying on journalists. DOJ grabbed records of at least 20 Associated Press telephone lines and the phone records and Gmail and Yahoo e-mails of James Rosen, formerly with Fox News Channel. Justice also tracked Rosen’s movements to and from the State Department, which he then covered. DOJ even seized the phone records of Rosen’s parents in Staten Island, New York.
Justice’s actions triggered serious First Amendment concerns.
“A number of top American journalists have commented in recent days on how draconian leak prosecutions and the practice of spying on reporters is damaging legitimate journalism, causing a chilling effect that prevents sources and whistleblowers from ever coming forward,” Slate’s Ryan Gallagher fretted.
ACLU legislative counsel Gabe Rottman wrote, “The fundamental issue is that the government has lost a sense of proportion in enforcing our national security laws, and that should be of enormous concern to us all.”
Even Obama wrung his hands, saying he was “troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.”
But rather than let an independent investigator probe this matter, Obama asked Eric Holder to ask Eric Holder what he knew and when he knew it.
Eric Holder should do America a huge favor and slide back off the radar.
“I have raised these issues with the attorney general, who shares my concern,” Obama said. “So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters,” he added.
Obama’s “wingman” gave his boss an assessment of Holder’s performance: Holder did nothing wrong. Justice simply issued new regulations for engaging journalists. DOJ also advocated a media-shield law…to protect the press from DOJ.
Nonetheless, Holder dares to challenge Barr’s handling of the Mueller report.
Barr was not obligated to do anything but tell Congress briefly what Mueller found. Instead, Barr has personified transparency:
• Barr held a Thursday morning press conference to discuss Mueller’s findings.
• He answered several journalists’ questions.
• Barr released a lightly redacted report to Congress and the public.
• He has offered top, bipartisan congressional leaders a copy of the report with almost no redactions. Only grand-jury material will be absent, as the law requires.
Democrats are impossible to please. If Barr broke the law and delivered an untouched copy of Mueller’s report, Democrats would whine about reading so many pages. Why not video of grand-jury testimony? If Barr delivered such video, Democrats would shout, “We want it in IMAX!” And if Barr arranged such IMAX screenings, Democrats would scream: “WHERE’S THE POPCORN?”
As Attorney General, Holder called America “a nation of cowards” because “we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race.” What an insulting, ignorant comment.
First, what a way for Holder to speak of his countrymen who just had elected America’s first black president.
Second, Holder must have snored through history class. Average Americans have not stopped talking about race since the Three-Fifths Compromise of 1787. Since then, abolitionism, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, desegregation, gangsta rap, the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, voter ID cards, Black Lives Matter, and much more have been inescapable — from water coolers to dinner tables. Has Holder noticed this?
Finally, to prove how deeply warped and sheltered he is, Holder moaned Thursday:
“In the years that I was attorney general, criminal justice reform was becoming a bipartisan issue,” he said. “That is really one of the failings, I think, of this current administration, that bipartisan spirit that was once there, to move the criminal justice system to a better place, has not only been ignored, it has been set back.”
Last December, President Donald J. Trump signed the FIRST STEP Act, a landmark bipartisan criminal-justice-reform measure that reduces mass incarceration and already has moved non-violent offenders — many of them black — from prison to their communities.
Obama had eight years to do this and didn’t. He was too busy wrecking American medicine, concealing his deadly failures at Benghazi, and stuffing a U.S. airplane with $1.7 billion in laundered cash that he jetted to Geneva — right into the hands of Iran’s “Death to America” government.
President Donald Trump secured criminal justice reform in under two years.
Either Holder has stopped watching the news or he is a total liar on this issue.
Regardless, Eric Holder should do America a huge favor and slide back off the radar.