Former Attorney General Eric Holder, who served under President Barack Obama, has assailed the current holder of that office, William Barr, saying he is “unfit” to lead the Justice Department and likening his conduct to “the tactics of an unscrupulous criminal defense lawyer [rather] than a U.S. attorney general.”
In an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Thursday, Holder said he was reluctant to criticize his successor, but recently Barr “has made a series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan and so deeply inappropriate for America’s chief law enforcement official that they demand a response from someone who held the same office.”
The office of the Attorney General, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, has traditionally been considered one to be independent of the president even though the position is appointed by the president.
Holder, who served Obama from 2009 to 2015, has in the past been open about his allegiance to the former president, declaring himself to be the president’s “wingman” in a 2013 interview. Conservative critics derided Holder’s comments as “laughable” in light of his own record.
As Attorney General, Eric Holder was Obama’s self-proclaimed “wingman.”— Matt Wolking (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@MattWolking) December 12, 2019
Holder lied to Congress.
He obstructed Congress over Fast&Furious scandal & later lost in court.
17 Democrats helped make him the 1st AG held in contempt of Congress.
Holder criticizing Barr is laughable
Eric Holder's Justice Department conspired with Lous Lerner's IRS to try to jail Obama's political opponents. https://t.co/iIxYXT6Fjw— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) December 12, 2019
Barr, Holder asserts, has cast aside his own independence and chosen instead to undermine the people who work for him in order to placate President Donald Trump.
As an example, Holder cited a recent speech in which Barr made the “outlandish” suggestion that only the president himself can be trusted to execute the law.
“This is a stunning declaration not merely of ideology but of loyalty: to the president and his interests,” Holder writes. “It is also revealing of Barr’s own intent: to serve not at a careful remove from politics, as his office demands, but as an instrument of politics — under the direct ‘control’ of President Trump.”
Holder insists that until recently, Barr was a widely respected lawyer whom many expected to be a responsible steward of his office and a protector of the law.
“Virtually since the moment he took office, though, Barr’s words and actions have been fundamentally inconsistent with his duty to the Constitution. Which is why I now fear that his conduct — running political interference for an increasingly lawless president — will wreak lasting damage,” he writes.