‘That would not have happened if I was attorney general of the United States…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) For someone who last held office three years ago, former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder continues to make headlines in the worst of ways.
Holder (who acknowledges having some presidential aspirations that may help account for the recent headline gobbling) began the week with inflammatory remarks at Sunday’s Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, where he declared, “The age of bullies and bigots is not fully behind us” while taking divisive potshots at President Donald Trump and his supporters.
On Monday, the Freedom of the Press Foundation released a shocking report, revealing the previously unknown depths to which Holder’s Justice Department and Obama’s White House stooped while attempting to spy on and suppress members of the media–including Holder’s having personally signed off on FISA warrants under false pretenses to secretly eavesdrop on journalists.
While those offenses may mean nothing to the liberal base he panders too, however, on Friday, Holder committed one of the Left’s cardinal offenses by daring to ‘mansplain’ to his successor, Loretta Lynch, where she went wrong in failing to rein in disgraced former FBI Director James Comey.
“That would not have happened if I was attorney general of the United States,” Holder said on BuzzFeed News’ AM To DM. “I would have told Jim Comey, ‘You can go up there as the FBI director and try to hold this press conference, but you will leave that podium as the ex-FBI director.”
This may, in fact, be one of the few areas where Holder and Trump find common ground, with Trump having lamented earlier in the week that he wished he had fired Comey earlier than he did.
Comey drew the ire of both sides of the aisle for his perceived election interference, first in prematurely concluding the e-mail investigation into Hillary Clinton, and later re-opening it after additional classified emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, a convicted sexual predator and then-husband to Clinton’s personal assistant.
Among the many details in an Inspector General’s report excoriating the former director, top FBI officials and the Justice Department over recurrent instances of bias, compromised ethics and poor judgment was that Comey had left Lynch out of the loop when making his initial decree about ending the Clinton investigation in July 2016.
However, some have speculated that Lynch–and Obama–exerted more than a little influence on the decision to clear Hillary Clinton, despite Comey’s having publicly stated that an earlier tarmac meeting between his DOJ boss and former President Bill Clinton had compromised her credibility.
Holder told Buzzfeed that he found Comey’s remarks “hard to watch” and that “I wish I’d been there maybe an hour before the press conference had started.”
Ironically, for all his second-guessing of Lynch’s decisions, Holder–the only attorney general ever to be held in contempt of Congress–seemed a bit sensitive of criticism about his own record.
When asked about the decision not to prosecute banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which had some on the Left feeling betrayed, he said, “that pisses me off.”
Holder then complained to the journalist that his job was way harder than theirs was.
“It’s an easy thing to criticize from the sidelines, it’s an easy thing to write an article about what you should have done,” he said. “It’s a whole different thing to get in front of a jury of 12 people with a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt and hold people accountable in that way.”