Eric Holder has announced that he will be stepping down as attorney general as soon as a replacement can be named. And already, National Journal notes that with Holder’s departure, President Obama will be losing one of his few friends in Washington.
“…Holder’s role has been not so much law enforcement as ‘scandal-goalie,’ ensuring that whatever comes out in the news or in congressional investigations, no one in the government will go to jail…”
[Glenn Reynolds‘ book The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself is available at Amazon]
As the article by George Condon notes, in choosing a friend, Obama was following in the footsteps of presidents going all the way back to George Washington, who named Revolutionary War comrades-in-arms to the slot.
“Writing in Above The Law, Tamara Tabo notes that Holder’s stonewalling, which led him to be the first attorney general ever found in contempt of Congress, has poisoned relations between the Justice Department and legislators, ensuring a rocky reception for whoever Obama names next.”
John F. Kennedy named his brother Robert to be attorney general, and Richard Nixon named his law partner, John Mitchell. In many ways, this makes sense: The attorney general of the United States is at the top of the law enforcement apparatus, and in that position, you want someone you can trust.
BREAKING: Anticipating Midterm Losses, Eric Holder Rushes to Step Down as Attorney General to Help Confirmation EffortPosted: September 25, 2014
Holder most wants to be remembered for his record on civil rights. In reality, he will be remembered as a divisive, combative, arrogant, partisan hatchet man for the administration, in a period marked by selective enforcement, stonewalling, evasion, and contempt.
Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.
“…some of that early glow faded in part due to the politicized nature of the job and in part because of Holder’s own rhetoric, such as a 2009 Black History Month speech where he said the country was ‘a nation of cowards’…”
Holder already is one of the longest-serving members of the Obama Cabinet and ranks as the fourth-longest tenured AG in history. Hundreds of employees waited in lines, stacked three rows deep, in early February 2009 to witness his return to the Justice Department, where he previously worked as a young corruption prosecutor and as deputy attorney general — the second in command — during the Clinton administration.
“Even though the attorney general has his eyes on the door, the two sources say several more policy and enforcement initiatives are underway and could be announced soon.”
Five years later, violence erupted between police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after a white policeman killed an unarmed black 18-year-old. And this time, the White House dispatched Holder to speak his piece, in effect jump-starting that conversation and helping to settle nerves in the frayed community.
“For instance, Holder sent a memo to U.S. attorneys Wednesday urging them not to use sentencing enhancements known as “851” tools to gain leverage in plea negotiations with defendants — in essence, threatening defendants into avoiding trial with huge amounts of prison time.”
Another huge controversy — over his decision to try the Sept. 11 plotters in a New York courthouse in the shadow of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center — prompted venomous reaction from lawmakers, New York City officials and some victims’ families. Read the rest of this entry »
Unprecedented, Unwarranted, Ugly and Divisive Eric Holder Goes Cuckoo Bananas on Congress’ Unprecedented, Unwarranted, Ugly DivisivenessPosted: April 10, 2014
…with a finger raised, Holder told the crowd in New York that his tenure as attorney general has been “defined by significant strides … even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity.”
The day before, after Gohmert ran out of time to ask questions, Holder leaned into the microphone in front of him and wished Gohmert “good luck with your asparagus.” It was a not-so-subtle dig at Gohmert’s bizarre remark last year when he warned Holder not to “cast aspersions on my asparagus.”
“You don’t want to go there, buddy. You don’t want to go there, OK?”
— Divisive, controversial U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Holder has had a tense relationship with several Republican lawmakers since the Republican-led House held him in contempt of Congress two years ago for failing to turn over certain documents tied to the Fast and Furious scandal involving botched firearms sting operations despite a congressional subpoena seeking those documents.
“I don’t need lectures from you about contempt.”
In asking Holder on Tuesday about the Justice Department’s refusal to turn over documents in an unrelated terrorism case, Gohmert again raised the issue of contempt, saying, “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight.”
“The American people have not been told the truth about what happened in Fast and Furious. We’ve been going through all of these hearings, having to hold people in contempt because they’ve made it impossible to get to the documents… ”
A visibly upset Holder, leaning back in his chair, shot back, “You don’t want to go there, buddy. You don’t want to go there, OK?”
“You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me,” Holder added, pointing a finger toward the congressman. “I think it was inappropriate. I think it was unjust. But never think that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will step down this year, he said in an interview with the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin in the magazine’s Feb. 17 edition.
The most controversial, combative, distrusted, divisive, nakedly political, and openly partisan Justice Department in decades may be about to have an overdue transition? The Washington Times reports: In a feature article, Mr. Holder said he plans on staying in his position “well into” the year.
Last November, Mr. Holder told CBS News he didn’t have “any plans” to step down.
Mr. Holder has made voting rights the test case of his tenure, the New Yorker reported. He has been a vocal critic of the Supreme Court case that invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act and has supported Congressional action to renew and revise the law.
Meanwhile, just yesterday, David Jackson at USA Today reported Attorney General Eric Holder has “no specific plans to step down by the end of 2014“, Obama administration officials say, contrary to a new magazine report.
The New Yorker, in a piece about Holder’s battles over voting rights, said President Obama’s attorney general “will leave office sometime this year.”
That is a misinterpretation of a frequent Holder comment that he plans to stay in the job until at least most of 2014, officials said….
Overestimating His Relevance, Misreading His Audience, Eric Holder Makes Unwelcome, Misleading Pronouncements to Further Poison Public Discussion and Inflame Social Climate Following Florida’s Martin Zimmerman Verdict.
By Neil Munro
The nation’s top law-enforcement officer told an African-American sorority Monday that he would lead an effort to change Americans’ beliefs and judgments about race, following George Zimmerman’s Sunday acquittal in the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Attorney General Eric Holder blamed racial attitudes for the killing.
“We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies, and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too-common incidents,” Holder told the long-scheduled meeting of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
Martin was a 17 year-old black youth in Florida.
“I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honesty about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised,” Holder said, while pointing his finger for emphasis.
“We must not, as we have too often in the past, let this opportunity pass,” he said, reminding listeners of the episode in 2009 when he called Americans “a nation of cowards” for not talking about race in the way he wished.
However, Holder did not use the speech as an opportunity to explain beliefs that he believes are mistaken, nor to offer data that shows suspect attitudes and stereotypes are either commonplace or incorrect.
Holder was appointed as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer in 2009 by President Barack Obama.
Holder’s effort to blame racial misunderstanding for the initial shooting is unjustified, said several lawyers.
“State prosecutors… tried to prove that throughout their entire case and there was no evidence of it,” said Hans Von Spakovsky, a former justice department lawyer now at the centrist Heritage Foundation.
“The jury didn’t buy it,” he told the The Daily Caller.
Moreover, “FBI reports are now also out in the public domain and the FBI itself admitted there was no racial animus,” he added.
Or, not. Who are we kidding? Sorry to get your hopes up.
Holder’s holdin’ on. What did we expect?
“Holder has ‘no intention of stepping down’.
In a rare television interview with NBC’s Pete Williams, Attorney General Eric Holder said he still has goals he hopes to accomplish with President Obama, and aims to
cling to his office with every fiber of his being, embracing his desk and chair with his bare hands, cursing his Republican tormentors, spitting paper clips, gnashing his teeth, throwing paperweights and shooting staples at whoever crosses his pathstrike a better balance between press freedom and safeguarding national secrets”
via Nightly News