Amid the stench of virtually non-stop scandals and even being in criminal contempt of Congress due to the ongoing Fast and Furious cover-up, Obama’s disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder plans to resign as soon as a replacement is found. The White House announced the deeply controversial figure’s resignation on Thursday after resisting years of public and congressional pressure on the issue. For some critics, though, resigning is not enough; they say Holder ought to be prosecuted and jailed for a wide range of serious crimes. Former Justice Department officials and analysts, meanwhile, said repairing the damage Holder has done would be a Herculean but crucial task for his successor.
It was not immediately clear whether Obama would attempt to pre-emptively pardon his top law enforcer. However, without a pardon, Holder could spend years behind bars for, among other crimes, unlawfully blocking congressional investigations and ignoring subpoenas about the administration’s deadly plot to arm Mexican drug cartels. Hundreds of Mexicans and numerous Americans, including U.S. law enforcement officers, have been slaughtered with guns deliberately sent to cartels by the administration. Official documents later showed Holder and others lied to Congress about the scheme and that officials were plotting to use the resulting violence as an excuse to push more assaults on gun rights.
After unsuccessfully seeking answers about the deadly plot for years, outraged lawmakers in both parties voted to hold the attorney general in criminal contempt in late June of 2012. Just 67 members of the House of Representatives voted against the measure. The coverup and lies were the primary motivation for the decision, with the Justice Department refusing to hand over documents about the scheme to congressional investigators. Instead, top officials were busy retaliating against the whistleblowers that exposed the blood-drenched plot to Congress and the press.
If convicted, the attorney general could face huge fines and years of imprisonment for criminal contempt of Congress. However, with Holder at the helm of the Justice Department, his underlings and minions have thus far failed in their duty to prosecute their boss. How much longer the administration can obstruct justice remains to be seen, but more than a few critics say it is time to appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an impartial investigation. Holder holds the dubious distinction of being the first-ever sitting cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in criminal contempt of Congress.
Faced with ever-growing levels of lawlessness, a group of the American people’s elected representatives eventually responded late last year by introducing Articles of Impeachment targeting the attorney general for removal. In the measure, the lawmakers accused Holder of perpetrating numerous high crimes and misdemeanors. Among them: Unlawfully refusing to comply with subpoenas, lying to Congress under oath about targeting journalists, failing to uphold his oath of office by, for example, refusing to prosecute IRS operatives who targeted Obama’s political opponents, and much more.
“For nearly five years, we have witnessed Mr. Holder repeatedly deceive Congress and degrade the credibility of the Justice Department in the eyes of the American people,” lawmakers wrote about the impeachment effort. “Unfortunately, Mr. Holder has continued to act in a manner unbefitting of a cabinet official; he has failed to perform his constitutional duties and violated the law on a number of occasions.... The House of Representatives should not stand by as he continues to undermine the office of Attorney General.”
After news of the resignation broke, the race-obsessed establishment media promptly celebrated Holder’s deeply controversial tenure, dwelling on the fact that he was the “first black attorney general.” Far more notable than irrelevant characteristics such as the melanin content of his skin, however, has been what former Justice Department employees refer to as the “unprecedented” politicization of the DOJ, the lawlessness that characterized Holder’s lengthy term, the attorney general’s outlandish legal “justification” for Obama’s mass-murder-via-drone program, the targeting of journalists, the refusal to uphold the law, and myriad other scandals.
Indeed, even Obama’s staunchest “progressive” allies have lashed out at Holder. Among the many concerns expressed by the attorney general’s “liberal” critics has been his failure to hold anyone accountable for crimes perpetrated in the run-up to the financial crisis — especially among the mega-banks that own the Federal Reserve and have intimate ties to the White House and the broader establishment. Civil liberties groups have also slammed Holder’s “memo” purporting to justify the president’s extrajudicial assassination program, in which the administration unlawfully and unconstitutionally purports to act as judge, jury, and executioner. Even Americans can be executed by the White House without charges or trial under Holder's bizarre arguments.
Among conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians, criticism of the attorney general has been even more vocal. Holder’s term, for instance, has been marked by an unprecedented anti-gun-rights fanaticism bordering on lunacy — despite the fact that the Second Amendment to the Constitution he swore to uphold specifically protects from infringement the God-given right to keep and bear arms. When lawmakers refused to violate their own oaths to pass unconstitutional attacks on gun rights, Holder simply resorted to “executive actions.” Operation Chokepoint, for example, sought to bankrupt and destroy firearm-related businesses by bullying banks into refusing them service.
Long before his term at the helm of DOJ, though, Holder had made his wild anti-constitutional extremism on the issue well known — something the Senate should have considered carefully before approving him for the post. Among other incidents, before becoming attorney general, Holder was caught on video telling a gathering that America needed a taxpayer-funded campaign to, in his words, “brainwash” the public into surrendering their unalienable right to keep and bear arms. Based on the official documents that have been released, lawmakers and analysts said Fast and Furious was aimed at doing precisely that — at least until the administration got caught and went into cover-up mode.
Some critics of Holder, meanwhile, say resigning cannot obfuscate the fact that prosecutions are urgently needed to hold the attorney general accountable. The Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council (LEOAC), for example, believes an independent prosecutor should be brought in to ensure that justice is served. “There is a clear-cut pattern of abuse and misconduct that falls within high crimes and misdemeanors when it affects the security of the United States,” said LEOAC President Andy Ramirez. “Pattern is the key word here.”
Among other concerns, Ramirez, who has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, pointed to Fast and Furious, the deaths of federal agents Terry, Zapata, Nick Ivey and others, Benghazi, NSA/DOJ surveillance, the IRS scandals, “and everything else that would be under DOJ's prosecutorial authority.” Ramirez also told The New American that Holder was treating the White House as a “client” instead of doing the job for which the American people pay him — upholding the law and the U.S. Constitution.
“The pattern is clear and I'm certain an independent prosecutor would be successful in a conviction and Holder and his co-conspirators would serve lengthy terms,” explained Ramirez, a border security expert and longtime advocate for law enforcement. “This is not about the label of Democrat, Republican, or anything else. Law-breaking and obstruction of justice are just that, and the pattern of crimes speaks for itself. Now it's time to hold them accountable in the light of day as the rest of us would be.”
Others expressed relief that Holder was leaving, but noted that much work would need to be done to undo the damage inflicted under his reign. Former constitutional law professor Horace Cooper, co-chairman of the black conservative group Project 21 with the National Center for Public Policy Research, said he was thankful that Holder’s term was coming to an end.
“As the nation's first black head of the Justice Department, Eric Holder managed to set back race relations, showed disrespect for the rule of law and undermined basic constitutional principles,” said Cooper, who also served as general counsel for a U.S. House majority leader. “Hopefully, his replacement will understand the difference between being the chief legal advisor for the implementation of a partisan agenda and being the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.”
With appropriate new leadership, Cooper added, the Justice Department can still “return to its proper role as a steward of the Constitution.” The DOJ can also once again protect the separation of powers rather than undermine it, he said. “Never again should we accept a nominee for this post who fails to accept the responsibilities of this esteemed office,” Cooper concluded. More than a few legal experts and analysts agreed with the sentiment: The Senate must not confirm any more extremists to such an important post.
Unfortunately for those who value the rule of law, however, Holder’s legacy of lawlessness and extremism will live on at the Justice Department and beyond. Former DOJ employees-turned whistleblowers have documented the attorney general’s fiendish efforts to pack the department with like-minded radicals devoted to advancing anti-constitutional agendas. The Civil Rights division, which under Holder was widely lambasted for refusing to prosecute black supremacists intimidating voters with weapons at a polling station, has apparently become one of the worst hotbeds of such extremism, experts and former DOJ officials say.
According to the taxpayer-funded NPR, which first reported the news of Holder’s upcoming resignation, the attorney general “most wants to be remembered for his record on civil rights: refusing to defend a law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.” In other words, Holder wants to be “remembered” for doing the opposite of what his job description entails — ensuring that laws passed by Congress and signed by the president are enforced.
Other dubious elements he hopes his legacy will contain include suing state governments for requiring ID to vote — an effort by the people’s elected representatives to crack down on rampant voting fraud. Opponents of such laws suggest minorities are somehow less capable of obtaining IDs than whites — an inherently racist argument. Finally, Holder wants to “be remembered” for launching 20 investigations of local police departments, something that falls outside of the federal government’s constitutional limits and should be the task of the communities that employ and fund those departments.
Much work remains to restore the rule of law and the prestige that once surrounded the Justice Department, which critics now often ridicule as Obama’s personal “Injustice” Department. However, for the sake of the Constitution, liberty, prosperity, and common sense, it must be done. Senators will soon have an opportunity to ensure that a proper nominee who will respect Congress, the law, and the Constitution leads the DOJ. They must seize it.
Photo of Attorney General Eric Holder: AP Images