I’ve been saying for years that Eric Holder is the worst, most dangerous Attorney General since A. Mitchell Palmer and that he should be removed from office. The list of his offenses against the law and the Constitution over the years reads like an honor roll of shame: the New Black Panther voter intimidation case; the failure to protect the voting rights of Whites in Noxubee county, Mississippi; an overall racialist agenda that sees American civil rights law as a means of “payback,” not an instrument of equal justice for all; Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-running operation run by the DoJ and ATF that resulted in roughly 300 Mexicans dead and at least one US federal agent; the seizure of phone records from the AP that seems to have been nothing more than an act of petulance; tracking reporter James Rosen’s movements and emails in what looks like an effort to criminalize journalism; and… and… Help me out here, folks, I’m sure I’m missing something.
And for all that, Eric Holder has escaped anything worse than the contempt of those who have been paying attention and have a sense of decency and respect for our laws and traditions. He hasn’t resigned, the president hasn’t fired him (presumably because he agrees, let’s be frank), and he’s been able to skate by claiming he didn’t know what was going on, he never read the memos, he recused himself, no one told him, and so on and so forth to the point one wonders what does he do in his office, besides spinning in his chair. But now I can claim vindication.
He’s told a lie too many and finally tripped over one.
In the Rosen case mentioned above, NBC reports that Holder personally signed off on the warrant that gave investigators access to Rosen’s emails:
Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.
Rosen, who has not been charged in the case, was nonetheless the target of a search warrant that enabled Justice Department investigators to secretly seize his private emails after an FBI agent said he had “asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information.”
But, not a week ago, Holder said in sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee:
In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material. This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.
Holder signed off on that warrant in 2010. It strains credulity, to say the least, that he wouldn’t remember that and could say with a straight face that this was something he’d “never heard of.” So there we have a very strong indication of perjury before Congress.
And he may have lied before a judge, too, observes Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post:
He is also in potential trouble himself, which necessitates an investigation (obviously not by Justice) beyond his departure. His behavior in the James Rosen and Associated Press matters raise serious questions.
First, the affidavit (paragraph 45) asserts that DOJ exhausted all means available to get the material from Rosen’s e-mails and phone, and “because of [Rosen’s] own potential criminal liability in this matter,” asking for the documents voluntarily would compromise the integrity of the investigation. Moreover, the affidavit asserts that the “targets” of the investigation (including Rosen) were a risk to “mask their identity and activity, flee or otherwise obstruct this investigation.” It is highly questionable whether Holder believed any of that to be true. (Really, he imagined a Fox News reporter would flee the country? He thought Rosen would don a disguise?) Was the affidavit a sort of ruse to get Rosen’s records (or later to pressure his cooperation)? Did Holder intentionally mislead a judge when he signed off on the affidavit? That is worth exploring.
Of course, to answer the question in the subject, it’s quite possible he did both.
Lots of sites Right and Left are calling for Holder to resign or be fired — even the Huffington Post! But, you know what? I don’t want either, though I think one or the other is just a few days away, at most.
No, I want Holder and his boss to tough it out; they’re friends, after all and, Lord knows, Obama has stuck with him long past the point most presidents would have stuck with a troubled cabinet member. Such loyalty is to be admired, even among crooks.
Besides, it will give me what I really want: the impeachment and trial of Eric Holder. Ladies and Gentlemen (and Occupiers), I give you Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Emphasis added. Hello, Mr. Attorney General!
The House clearly has the grounds to begin hearings on impeachment, both for lying to Congress and possibly to a judge. And I think, in this case, even a heavily Democratic Senate would be forced to convict: few senators would want to be seen backing an obvious perjurer and none of them, I’m willing to bet, want to endorse the man behind the AP and Rosen warrants and then have to face the press. Not with an election year coming up. No, I’m thinking you could find 67 votes for removal.
What a way to cap off a career; first cabinet officer impeached, convicted, and removed from office. (1)
And Eric Holder richly deserves it.
(1) Grant’s Secretary of War, William Belknap, was impeached, but he resigned and was never convicted.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)