- Written by Leonora Leigh
Attorney General Eric Holder is feeling the heat from the Fast and Furious scandal again. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ruled that the Justice Department has to provide to the House Oversight and Reform Committee additional documents including the Fast and Furious Privileged Log of Operations. The privileged log was among the thousands of documents withheld from the investigation which has been going on since 2011. Judge Berman Jackson’s order requires the Justice Department to produce all non-privileged documents and a detailed description of privileged documents by October 1. The Committee will have until October 17 to object or respond to any withheld documents. Operation Fast and Furious permitted 2000 guns to be flown to Mexican drug trafficking organizations so that they could be tracked. But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) lost track of many of the weapons. The situation came to a crescendo in December 2010 when two of these weapons were found at the scene of the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in Arizona. In 2012, President Obama invoked executive privilege to prevent Eric Holder from having to release these documents to Congress. Holder was held in contempt of Congress for obstructing the probe by the Republican held House with the support of 17 Democrats, making him the first sitting Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress. The new ruling has given the case new life blood. According to Oversight Committee Chairman , Darrell Issa, (Republican-California) “The privileged log will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false statements in the wake of the reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of Border Control Agent Brian Perry and countless Mexican citizens.” Will this next chapter in the Fast and Furious saga also be Eric Holder’s long-awaited undoing?
In every recent scandal of the Obama administration, the bread crumbs lead to Eric Holder. In the IRS targeting scandal, Holder came under fire for his failure to prosecute the IRS employees responsible for targeting conservative organizations for greater scrutiny. He was accused of perjury and obstruction of justice in conjunction with this case with more than a dozen Republicans calling for his impeachment back in 2013. Holder has also been accused of violating the constitution by giving the Obama administration permission to transfer Guantanamo Bay prisoners without notifying Congress. In addition, Holder has been called out for lying about his involvement in the Department of Justice’s investigation of Fox News Reporter James Rosen. Holder claimed to have no knowledge of the investigation despite having signed the subpoena. Holder’s fingerprints are on Benghazi, the terrorist attack which resulted in the death of four Americans on September 11, 2012 and the Bowe Bergdahl case where five terrorists were exchanged for deserter Bergdahl. And let’s not forget Holder’s role in the Obama administration’s decision to ship tens of thousands of illegal aliens from the border to Texas, New York, California, Florida, Tennessee etc. without informing the governors of these respective states.
Holder’s Justice Department has also been pinpointed by conservatives as being racially biased. For instance, former Justice Department Lawyer J. Christian Adams in an interview with Ben Swann of the Steve Malzberg Show depicted Holder and the attorneys under his authority as prejudiced to the viewpoint that “The deck is stacked against the African American”. Holder’s case management history has demonstrated a pattern of bias towards the Black population. According to John Fund, a Newsmax contributor and author of the book “Obama’s Enforcer” “If you look at Eric Holder’s record he has polarized, politicized and racialized the Justice Department.” Let’s examine the 2008 Black Panther case in Philadelphia where Black Panthers in military garb carrying weapons were intimidating voters in polling places. The Bush Administration in its final days had led the prosecution. But the Black Panthers did not show up in court. Perhaps they had some type of inside knowledge as Holder later dismissed the case with no sanctions.
As a result of this mounting evidence, there has been another groundswell reaction to impeach Holder. In November 2013, Representative Pete Olsen (Republican –Texas) introduced articles of impeachment against Holder. In June Representative Paul Gosar (Republican-Arizona), the man who led the efforts to have Holder held in contempt of Congress, added his name to the list. According to Gosar, “We can’t sit idly here as we see the Constitution and justice being defamed right and left at the whim of the attorney general.” To date, 27 congressman have signed the petition. 218 votes are needed to force a vote by the House of Representatives.
And lately Holder is making it even worse for himself. He has gone to Ferguson Missouri to intervene in the investigation of the August 9 shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Holder arrived as the local grand jury began to hear evidence as to whether Officer Wilson should be charged in the fatal shooting. Holder has made several mistakes in this case. He played the race card with the statement “I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man.” and followed that statement with recollections of his own experience of being discriminated against for the color of his skin. By injecting his personal narrative, he demonstrated his identification with Brown. And this action immediately cast doubt upon his ability to interpret the facts of the case objectively. Furthermore, Holder is potentially getting himself into more hot water with the reports that the DOJ attempted to suppress the release of security footage which revealed that the 6'4", nearly 300 pound gentle giant Michael Brown participating in a strong arm robbery at local convenience store at the time he was approached by officer Wilson. According to NBC News, “The Department of Justice which is conducting its own investigation into Brown’s August 9 death, has had a copy of the footage all along and never considered releasing it to the public.
So this begs a question with all this evidence against Holder, why is he still in office? His tenure at the helm of the Department of Justice has been characterized by a willful disregard for the law, incompetency and bias. January 2017, is too long to wait for a new regime. Holder needs to go now!