Attorney General William Barr has faced considerable criticism over his press conference before the release of the Special Counsel report. Many have objected that his account seemed designed as a prebuttal to the report to support Trump. While I disagree with the extent of the criticism, I can see why there are such objections. Yet, the one person who one would not expect to hear from would be former Attorney General Eric Holder who was viewed as a highly political and intensely loyal member of the President Barack Obama’s cabinet. That reputation was highlighted when Holder proclaimed that he was “I’m still the president’s wingman.” Yet, Holder went public this week to remind Barr that he is “the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer.”
Holder further told Barr “You have a responsibility to run the Justice Department in a way that is not political.” It was crushingly ironic from a nominee who had to promise not to put politics ahead of his oath given his role in the abusive use of pardon powers by Bill Clinton. Clinton not only pardoned his own brother but pardoned Marc Rich, a fugitive from justice who was also a major Democratic donor. Rich remains one of the least worthy pardon recipients in history and Holder had to promise that he would serve as an apolitical Attorney General. Holder was later repeatedly accused of being uncomfortably close to Obama as his self-proclaimed “wingman.”
Holder has a penchant for the ironic. He previously called for the full disclosure of the Mueller report despite the fact that such disclosure would include barred grand jury, or Rule 6(e) material. The call was particularly notable from Holder who was rightfully held in contempt for withholding documents from Congress in the Fast and Furious investigation.