If ever there was an example why the Attorney General of the United States should be an elective position, it could be answered two words: Eric Holder.
Never in the history of this country have we seen the top law enforcement official constantly act as a partisan protectorate of the president.
Never has an Attorney General stonewalled congress with dodging questions about one scandal or another, pretending he knew nothing about the IRS targeting conservatives, or Fast and Furious, AP surveillance, and more when they clearly came under his domain, and certainly had to have known and/or be supervised by him directly.
Never has an Attorney General ever been censured by the U.S. Congress (joined by seventeen Democrats) after receiving a criminal contempt resolution for failing to produce vital documents in the Fast and Furious investigation. This was a deliberate act to obfuscate truth about a serious charge that our Justice Department was selling guns to criminals which ultimately resulted in the death of an American agent. Yet, it was sloughed off and tagged as a political partisan stunt.
The writing was on the wall shortly after Barack Obama took office in 2009. Holder had barely warmed his office chair when he dismissed of charges against two members of the New Black Panthers for violating federal voting rights laws when they menaced white voters outside a Philadelphia police station wearing fatigues and a billy club. Had the KKK done the same to black voters, they’d still be serving time in Leavenworth today.
Holder’s then top prosecutor of civil rights cases, J. Christian Adams, resigned in disgust and later testified before the Civil Rights Commission stating, “I was told by management that cases are not going to be brought against black defendants on behalf of white victims.”
Too often, racial politics raised its ugly head during Holder’s tenure, most egregiously in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. The Attorney General went after the white defendant (Zimmerman) for shooting a black teen when the evidence showed that the shooting was an act of self defense. The Justice Department spent tax dollars on organizing biased demonstrations in Florida on behalf of Trayvon Martin, adjudicating George Zimmerman guilty prior to completion of an investigation. The Justice Department twisted arms in the Duval County State Attorney’s office to prosecute Zimmerman at the state level – when his acquittal was clearly imminent.
In 2014, Eric Holder personally responded to Ferguson, Missouri to steamroll an investigation in support of the black folks, who had prematurely declared a police officer guilty of murdering a black teen, when the facts were still under investigation.
Holder’s testimony before congress about the root of Islamic terrorism, was nothing more than a tap dance, refusing to associate the term Islam with terror.
In 2013, Holder told congress he knew nothing about a potential prosecution of Fox News reporter, James Rosen, after Rosen was subjected to a federal search warrant pertaining to a leaked story. Holder approved of the warrant, then lied to congress otherwise.
In 2012, The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of the telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press (AP). CEO Gary Pruitt described the DOJ’s actions as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into news organizations.
How could the president nominate an Attorney General whose private law firm was had defended 17 Guantanamo terrorists, and then expect him to be unbiased?
Benghazi, IRS and Fast & Furious are three scandals that absolutely deserved a special prosecutor, much like scandals in the Clinton and Nixon years. But that would not happen when an Attorney General’s primary mission is to protect the president.
In the states, nearly all (45) Attorney Generals are elected. As such, they are truly representatives of the people, not political lackeys for a governor.
The only way to prevent such a tragedy as we’ve seen in the Eric Holder debacle is to change the law. The Attorney General of the United States must be an elected position, not a cabinet appointee.