Desperate Holder Throws Underlings Under the Bus

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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[To order the Freedom Center's pamphlet "Ten Reasons to Impeach Eric Holder," written by Department of Justice whistleblower J. Christian Adams, click here.]

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reinforced the notion that he is unfit to remain in office. Although he was grilled about many of the scandals afflicting the Obama administration, the seizure of phone records from the Associated Press (AP) remained the major concern for both Republicans and Democrats. Holder made it clear they were wasting their time trying to get answers about the investigation from him. “I was not the person involved in that decision,” he insisted. “I was recused in that matter as I described in a press conference held yesterday. The decision to issue this subpoena was made by the people presently involved in the case.”

Holder said he recused himself from the probe because “I am a possessor of information eventually leaked.” He expressed faith in the ability of those looking into the leaking of top-secret information to the AP. the leak revealed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that undermined an al Qaeda plot to get an underwear bomber on a jetliner. “I have faith in the people who actually were responsible for this case, that they were aware of the rules and that they followed them,” Holder said. “But I don’t have a factual basis to answer the questions that you have asked, because I was recused.”

That was an understatement. Holder wasn’t even able to answer the most basic questions about the investigation. He couldn’t say why the DOJ didn’t follow the standard practice of negotiating with the AP before issuing the subpoenas. “That I don’t know,” he responded to the question posed by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). “There are exceptions if the integrity of the investigation would be impacted. I don’t know why that didn’t happen.” Sensenbrenner asked him who authorized the subpoena, “because the code of federal regulations is pretty specific that this is supposed to go as close to the top as possible.” Holder was noncommittal, claiming he was “probably 95 percent, 99 percent certain the deputy attorney general acting in my stead was the one who authorizes the subpoena.” After being handed a note, he confirmed that “the (Deputy Attorney General James Cole) was the one who authorized the subpoena.” Sensenbrenner expressed frustration regarding Holder’s evasiveness, suggesting administration officials travel to the Harry Truman Presidential Library and take a photo of the famous sign, “the buck stops here.”

The Congressman then explained why. “There doesn’t appear to be any acceptance of responsibility for things that have gone wrong,” he said.

Holder couldn’t even say for certain when he recused himself. “I’m not sure, I think it was towards the beginning of the matter. I don’t know exactly when, but it was towards the beginning of the matter,” he told Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL).  Despite this complete lack of knowledge, Holder remains supportive of the seizure of two months of phone records via a secretly issued subpoena, because the aforementioned story involved “a very serious leak, a very grave leak.”

What Holder leaves out is the reality that this leak, as well as the ones regarding the president’s “kill list” of terror suspects, the Stuxnet virus used to foil Iranian nuclear ambitions, and the leaking of classified information about SEAL Team 6 to Hollywood producers by Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers were remarkably consistent in one respect: they all accrued to Barack Obama’s efforts to appear “tough on terror” leading up to the 2012 election. Thus, it would stand to reason someone in the Obama administration was the source of the leaks for which AP phone records were secretly subpoenaed. It would be useful to know who has been subpoenaed on the other side of this equation–or who hasn’t, making the seizure of AP phone records necessary.

Democrats were willing to offer Holder cover on the issue. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) was delighted that Republicans were now interested in media protection, considering a shield law died in the Senate in 2009. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) criticized the “hue and cry” raised by the same Republicans who, last year, “wanted reporters subpoenaed, put in front of grand juries” in an effort to stop leaks. Apparently Conyers forgot that Democrats have controlled the Senate since 2006, and Nadler is unable to fathom the difference between overt and covert subpoenas, as well as the difference between grand jury testimony and a secret DOJ investigation.

Holder was grilled on the additional scandals surrounding the administration, including the potential lapses in intelligence sharing prior to the Boston Marathon bombings, and the IRS’s targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny.

With regard to the Boston bombings, Holder asserted that the DOJ’s investigation had been “thorough.” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, disagreed, contending there was “troubling information” leading to the conclusion that the federal agencies involved in the investigation “failed to connect the dots.” “It does not appear that all of the information was received by all the pertinent parties, particularly the FBI,” the congressman said. When Goodlatte asked what the DOJ is doing about procedure regarding hits in terror databases, Holder  sidestepped the question, saying only that there is an ongoing inspector general investigation.

Holder was further challenged by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who wondered what the FBI did, or didn’t, pursue after receiving Russian intelligence indicating Tamerlan Tsarnaev had become radicalized. “A lot of people are concerned about profiling, but there are a lot more people concerned about getting blown up by a terrorist,” Gomert contended.

Holder responded angrily to Gomert’s assertion. “Unless somebody has done something inappropriate, you don’t have access to the FBI files, you don’t know what the FBI did,” Holder said. “You simply do not know.”

Neither does anyone else at this point, and given the DOJ’s track record regarding other administration investigations, such as the one over Fast and Furious, it is more than likely any revelations about who knew what and when will be stonewalled.

Holder was equally vague regarding the IRS scandal. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) inquired if the investigation would be far reaching, “including Washington, D.C.,” if necessary. Holder promised to go “wherever the facts take us.” On the other hand, he said it would take time to determine if there was “criminal” wrongdoing.

Late yesterday afternoon, it appeared that timeline would get even longer. Around 6 p.m. EDT, the president announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had accepted the resignation of acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller. Obama characterized the “misconduct” detailed in the just-released Inspector General report about the IRS’s handling of conservative tax exempt applications as “inexcusable.” It remains to be a seen if Miller will be part of Holder’s investigation into IRS malfeasance, or simply be allowed to fade into oblivion.

The progressive media have already begun circling the wagons around the Attorney General. Media Matters insisted the secret seizure of AP phone records was a necessity. “If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated,” they contended.

So should Media Matters’ relationship with the DOJ. Internal DOJ emails obtained in 2012 by the Daily Caller revealed the leftist advocacy group regularly collaborated with the DOJ to attack reporters who covered DOJ scandals. Tracy Schmaler, Office of Public Affairs Director for the Justice Department, worked with Media Matters staffers to attack a number of prominent journalists, including Townhall Magazine’s Katie Pavlich, Breitbart.com writers Joel Pollak and Ken Klukowski, Fox News’s  William LaJeunesse, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Megyn Kelly, Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy. Former DOJ Civil Rights Division attorneys J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky were also attacked.

The Daily Caller obtained the emails after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was fulfilled long after the 20-business-day limit required by law.

Moreover, the Office of Public Affairs has no business conducting a political operation. Its function is to keep the public informed about what the DOJ is doing to enforce the laws. That it was more than willing to violate its mandate is a good indication of how deep the rot at the DOJ goes.

Yesterday, Eric Holder did what he does best whenever he appears before a Congressional Committee: provide as little information as possible, become indignant when anyone suggests he has acted improperly, and fob responsibility for every possible impropriety conducted by his department onto someone else–when he’s not busy stonewalling scandals. Even a contempt of Congress citation for his refusal to provide critical information in the Fast and Furious gunrunning debacle that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, along with hundreds of Mexican nationals, including children, has failed to chasten his contempt for the rule of law, or his determination to maintain the most ideologically-compromised Department of Justice in modern history.

Holder can only serve as long as he maintains the support of President Barack Obama. That he still does, speaks volumes–about both men.

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  • κατεργάζομαι

    Throughout his life, Barack Obama has selected his mentors from the ranks of those who despise the United States. His administration, unelected czars, and particularly AG Eric Hold-himself, is cast from his same philosophical Anti-American post-modernist mold.

    Obama's ever-growing catalogue of prevarications — calculated to deceive and misdirect, seem to flow so effortlessly from his and Holder's being, that one wonders if either Barack Obama, OR, Eric Holder knows the difference between truth and the craven falsehood: without which it could be said that they bare the marks of a personality disorder.

    Unfortunately, it is the fiber of a Constitutional Republic that is being dis-ordered and destroyed by two Cloward–Piven strategists. – -

    Q: – IS IT coincidental that both Alinsky and Piven received their PhDs from the U. of Chicago?

    Oh! – And BTW

    Q: What was Pres. Obama Fast and Furiously doing during those lost Seven Benghazi hours?

  • Poupic

    The difference between the Nixon era brake in and Barack Hussein IRS brake in is only technology availability in each era. Nixon time the break in was physical because this what was possible then. Today using computers, the net, database… we get the IRS investigation of the right by the Barack Hussein gang instead of the Nixon gang.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    More to the point, how can the chief lawbreaker – in tandem with his boss – avoid jail with all the skeletons coming out of the closet. Indeed, much of what is spewing forth is even worse than banana republics and their "business as usual".

    Therefore, a confluence of events – and its outflow of corroborating evidence – will bring down the regime which has gone wild – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/05/15/regime-gone-w

    At the same time, the damage they wrecked may be irreversible, at least for generations to come. In any case, it is coming to a crash landing.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • jacob

    If OBAMA knows what is good for him, he should throw Holder under the bus and the sooner the better
    He despises the rule of Law and disrespects Congress Republicans at will…
    So now the House holds him in contempt and the best to do now is to impeach him and if Obama tries
    to protect him with another of his "EXECUTIVE ORDER" as he usually does, lets impeach him as well…
    The only explanation for such incompetence is that it is deliberate….

    • "gunner"

      the problem with that is that holder is not going away, even if he is finally fired or resigns. he's a fanatic on "gun control" and will keep banging on that drum until he drops dead.

  • Fred

    Eric (hates whites) Holder did not prosecute the Black Panthers. And Fast and Furious. And he is not in jail yet?

    What is going on in America?

    • STEVE CHAVEZ

      Obama and Holder should be cell mates and the only argument we'd hear is who's on top!

      • Lan Astaslem

        put lil barry and steadman in a cell with jodi arias!

  • Asher

    For people who are supposed to be governing or in charge, Holder and this administration has more excuses for failures than Bayer has Pills. Benghazi is Worse than Watergate because People died. The IRS is not a body that governs well. They attacked and targeted specific Conservative and religious groups, and that is Willfull Oppression! Who is going to jail indeed?

  • tagalog

    "I don't have a factual basis to answer the question…" appears to be the new way of saying "I know nothing." Or maybe "Duh."

    Do we need an Attorney General who knows nothing about what his subordinates were doing? I realize he recused himself (apparently without following the law on recusal, which requires that it be done in writing), but how much ignorance does that call for?

    • Jim_C

      "Do we need an Attorney General who knows nothing about what his subordinates were doing?"

      That's entirely my problem with Holder. I couldn't care less about the so-called "AP scandal." But I do find the irony of the situation amusing.

      • tagalog

        For right-wingers to beef overmuch about the AP scandal is to call into question the issues of political convenience and expedience, and inconsistency vis-a-vis those things, if the Patriot Act is involved. One would expect the conservatives who support the Patriot Act to be more principled. Of course, if the Patriot Act is not involved in the gathering of AP records, then fine.

        • David of Edinburgh

          What was that all about?

          • tagalog

            You've got me; I just write this stuff, I don't actually THINK about it. You know, knee-jerk reactions, that's me.

  • STEVE CHAVEZ

    WHEN CONFRONTED WITH JAIL TIME, you will hear some whistling and Obama will really be trying to tap dance around the issue and he'll be voted out by the Dancing of the Stars jury.

    HOLDER AND THE DEMOCRATS are involved in a cover-up. Their questioning is embarrassing! They are the "sideshow!"

  • guest
  • BLJ

    Eric Holder as Attorney General is like putting Bill Clinton in charge of a cheerleading team. Holder is a criminal just like his boss. Only in this Alice in Wonderland world we live in could these two lowlifes have any power.

  • silver gonzales

    To all those Americans who voted for the Dems in the last election: please pick yourselves up, place car keys in your right hand, go into your cars, drive it to the nearest garage, close the garage door and windows and place your open mouth around the exhaust pipe.

    • BLJ

      It would be nice if that happened. I also would like to see those who helped Barry steal the election get their just reward as well.

  • Mike

    We are we so surprised? Holder was picked because he promised to follow the Obama doctrine. The doctrine states that they promise to throw everyone under the bus that doesn't follow obama. Holden is just following orders. Does this remind you of a group of people that said the same thing?

    • kasandra

      It's worse than even that. It is literally an impossibility in the federal government that he could have recused himself but there would not be a written record that he would have had to have submitted to his department's General Counsel or Office of Professional Responsibility. The claim that he recused himself from the AP case, but doesn't remember when and that there is no documentation is simply not possible and is a complete lie. Sort of like everything else this regime does. Thanks a lot, American voters.

  • ffortnightly

    Folks, Obama just fits the suit. Valerie Jarrett is the REAL president.
    Grobbbbbbbbb

  • pierce

    Repubs ought to call for his resignation like the Dems called for 2 of Bushes AGs, but the Repubs don't want to be accused of being racist, which is exactly what would happen. I frankly don't know how this guy ever became a lawyer, he is a disgrace not only to the legal profession, but to his race.

  • Ellman

    “I was recused in that matter as I described in a press conference held yesterday. The decision to issue this subpoena was made by the people presently involved in the case.”

    Do all liberals working in government fail to understand that they are responsible for the actions and decisions of their subordinates? Is this deficiency the result of never actually holding an executive position in private industry? In the private sector CEOs are constantly being rotated due to the unsupervised actions of their subordinates. There is no "passing the buck" in the private sector but in the Obama regime this is a ubiquitous practice, extending downwards from Obama himself. What an oddball Democrat Harry Truman was. He coined the phrase "The buck stops here". But with Obama and his Obamacrats the phrase is: "I knew nothing. I can't possibly be expected to be aware of everything that happens in my department. After all, I do have an alternate life as a father, husband, golf enthusiast, fund raiser, public speaker, etc."

  • Ellman

    Benghazigate, IRSgate, APgate all have on thing in common: insure that Obama gets reelected in 2012. In fact, Obama's first term was almost entirely about getting reelected in 2012. Without a 3rd term at stake Obama has become more passive, more disinterested, more indifferent about his grand attempt to transform America. He's looking forward to his new residence in Hawaii, million dollar speaking engagements, even more time on golf courses; in general, experiencing and enjoying the perks which come with power even when that power has been surrendered. The supremacist elites in the Democratic Party like to pretend that they care about the welfare of the ordinary citizens whom they despise, but their true purpose is to enrich themselves at expense of those same citizens.

  • Chaim

    Arnold Ahlert has Holder dead to rights, but for one thing: Holder is in no way desperate. What he is, is contemptuous, a man filled with utter disdain for the Congress and the American people, especially for white people, a contempt not only obvious, but blatant, and why he's so popular with the racist Black Caucus, the New Black Panthers, and such race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc.

    The irony is, Holder's contempt, and Obama's, for ordinary black people in America, is even greater.

  • nellootiout

    I think OBAMA don't know what is good for him.
    my blog