June 16, 2013

Time For Holder To Go: In Fact, It’s Long Past Time.

by Hal Gershowitz

Comments Below



So, here’s the question…is parsed, sworn testimony by a cabinet member before Congress that is carefully designed to mislead congress as bad as untruthful testimony before Congress that is carefully designed to misinform Congress? Yes, we think it is.

Maybe intentionally misleading congress doesn’t rise to the level of criminal perjury, but it certainly rises to the level of your services are no longer needed or desired.

We all remember Attorney General Holder testifying, “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material:  This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”  The key words here are “potential prosecution”.  So Mr. Holder testified that such potential prosecution is not something he’s every been involved in, or heard of.  But he has!  And he overtly and unambiguously has.

The affidavit for the search warrant that Holder himself approved stated that James Rosen, Fox News Washington Correspondent, “has violated a provision in U.S. law prohibiting unauthorized disclosure of defense information”. And that Mr. Rosen’s seeking the information from State Department employee Stephen Jin-Woo Kim could be expected to constitute direct evidence of their guilt or innocence (emphasis added).

It gets worse.  DOJ underlings have now stated to Congress that Attorney General Holder’s testimony was not misleading because Holder never really intended to prosecute Mr. Rosen.  We guess he just wanted to fool the judge into thinking he was in order to get the search warrant approved.

Fresh from a historic second term victory and with hopes of taking over the House of Representatives in 2014 which would clear the way for the enactment of a totally Obama agenda, the President has run into various and sundry scandals that threaten his Administration.  Sadly, he does not seem to be very interested in getting to the root causes.  Attorney General, Eric Holder, once a respected Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, has been a chronic liability to the Obama Administration and should be jettisoned.

The reader will recall that Attorney General Holder knew nothing about anything regarding DOJ snooping through reporter’s phone and email records because he had recused himself given that there was an on-going investigation.   Well, it would be interesting to see the paperwork on that recusal, but as David Ignatius in The Washington Post, recently reported, “he doesn’t seem to have kept a written record of the recusal.”  Think about that. He let’s himself off the hook by testifying that he was recused, but there apparently is no record of his recusal.  How convenient!

Eric Holder’s administration of DOJ has been an amazing array of disarray:

He secretly (but apparently unknowingly) obtained phone records of AP reporters and editors as part of a leak investigation, as well as the emails and phone records of Fox News correspondent James Rosen and Rosen’s parents.

Holder obstructed the investigation of operation “Fast and Furious,” a botched operation that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry.  Thousands of documents related to the operation were destroyed.  Once again employing his I know nothing about nothing defense, he said he only found out about the operation in early 2011, when it was actually May of 2010 that he was informed about Fast and Furious.

He was also the first Attorney General to ever be held in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives (for sabotaging the “Fast and Furious” investigation).

And he dropped charges against members of the Black Panthers who were arrested for intimidating voters with clubs and other weapons outside polling locations in 2008.

Holder personally prohibited states from implementing voter ID laws because he says such laws are racist (we presume drivers’ license laws are racist too).

Holder has a habit of throwing his subordinates under the proverbial bus.  He has made it clear that his second in command Deputy Attorney General James Cole ordered the subpoena of Associated Press phone records, and that he, Holder, knew nothing about it.  DOJ claims that the AP put Americans at risk. We’re certainly not slouches when it comes to national security, but we also recognize the abuses to our basic constitutional rights that can be justified under the guise of national security.  This was about as clumsy a gumshoe operation as we’ve seen in a generation.

The smart thing for the President to do would be to drop the Attorney General before his mismanagement of DOJ further reduces the President’s approval ratings and his ability to govern.

This Administration has been plagued by scandals and embarrassments for which the Attorney General is often responsible.  In fact, polls show that the Attorney General is in the cellar of public approval ratings.  Just 25 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Attorney General Holder, while 47 percent view him unfavorably, according to a Rasmussen Report out last Friday.  Asked if he should resign, a 42 percent plurality says “yes.”

Calls for Holder’s resignation are coming from both the right and left, and that should be very troubling to the White House.

“The Attorney General has done little in his tenure to protect civil liberties or the free press,” writes George Washington University law professor, Jonathon Turley, who describes himself as “neither a Republican nor conservative.”  “Rather, Holder has supervised a comprehensive erosion of privacy rights, press freedom and due process,” Mr. Turley writes in a USA Today column.  “I believe Holder should be fired,” he stated.

Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, has called for Holder’s resignation as well.

“First of all, for this scandal about investigating reporters,” he said. “I think that’s outrageous. We had more than a hundred AP reporters and editors that the Justice Department was gathering information on, and now we have the revelation about the Fox News reporter James Rosen, who was being accused of being a co-conspirator under the Espionage Act of 1917 simply for doing his reporting job. Also, the attorney general has been essentially waging war on whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act.”

There is overwhelming support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS even though Attorney General Holder thinks that he can investigate the matter himself.  Voters do not like this because they do not think highly of him.  He gets a negative 23-39 percent job approval rating.

A major part of an attorney general’s job is clearing political obstacles to allow effective law enforcement.  Here many attorneys fault Holder.  Let’s return to the classic example of the plan to prosecute 9/11 plotter, Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian court in New York.  Holder made what many (we not among them) regard as the right decision to try the case there.  But he hadn’t done the necessary political groundwork among New York and national politicians, and when a political firestorm ignited, he reversed his decision.  Feckless, is the word that describes Holder’s decisions.  The real scandal here is tolerance of such performance.

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One response to “Time For Holder To Go: In Fact, It’s Long Past Time.”

  1. mark j levick says:

    The Attorney General as well as all Cabinet level Department heads serve at the pleasure of the President and are responsible for .implementing his political agenda. None were appointed based on their managerial skills and in fact do not manage the vast bureaucracies under their jurisdiction. They need be politic rather than competent. Holder is neither but he remains a friend of Valerie and Barack. Thus he survives to file briefs in support of those who would end NYPD’s very successful stop and frisk policy. Good governance and public safety are trumped by good politics and liberal ideology. That’s the world in which we live.

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