During what seems to be the umpteen jillionth hearing on Capitol Hill about the failures of the now-infamous “Fast and Furious” gun running program yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder showed breathtaking disrespect to members of Congress while being grilled by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX).
Multiple requests by the House Judiciary Committee for the Department of Justice to turn over nearly ten thousand pages of documents related to F&F have gone unheeded. During yesterday’s hearing, Rep. Gohmert pointed out the fact that this documentation has been readily turned over to lawyers representing those accused of supporting terrorism, yet all the DOJ has been willing to provide the Judiciary Committee is a link to the parts of that evidence that has been made publicly available (roughly half of what has been requested). The frustration of the committee at being continually snubbed had already come out in the form of a charge of contempt against Holder, and it came out again when Rep. Gohmert rehashed all of the events leading up to yesterday’s hearing.
Not without reason, Rep. Gohmert said, “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our Attorney General…”
Holder’s response was incredible. Leaning back in his chair, he sniped, “you don’t wanna go there, buddy. You don’t wanna go there, okay?” He then proceeded to go on a tirade about how important this investigation has been. This after a similar grilling from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) during which Holder became visibly upset, saying, “I’ll put my record up against any other Attorney General, any other Justice Department, and any hint we have engaged in anything that’s partisan or inappropriate in nature I totally one thousand percent reject.”
Well, let’s take a look at that record, shall we?
During the Presidential election in November 2008, two members of the New Black Panther Party were captured on cell phone video standing outside a Pennsylvania polling place in paramilitary garb, carrying nightsticks. Several people complained that they felt intimidated; some even left without voting. The Bush administration DOJ handily won the case against the NBPP when the members of the group failed to show up (and, you know – video evidence and all) to defend themselves against charges of voter intimidation. In his first act as the new Attorney General in early 2009, Holder tossed the win and dropped all charges against the NBPP and the specific members who were there, claiming there wasn’t enough evidence. He excused himself by saying, “When you compare what people endured in the South in the ’60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia… I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people.” In other words, what your people did back in the day was worse, so you can stop crying about what my people are doing now.
In 2009, Holder gave a speech on race relations in America in which he called us a “nation of cowards.” He went on to say, “Certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment, and at worst, the questioning of one’s character.” I’m sure we can agree with that last statement, although the subject that we would like to explore are very different.
In 2010, Holder attempted to take what was clearly a military matter and make it a civilian one. Several foreign nationals who had engaged US forces in acts of terrorism were set to go on trial and Holder swore that he would give them civilian trials in New York City. After the uproarious outcry over the move, President Obama had to force Holder to back off.
Last year, George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury during a trial to determine whether he murdered Trayvon Martin. In a flagrant violation of Zimmerman’s Constitutional rights, Holder announced an investigation into whether Martin’s civil rights were violated almost immediately after the jury’s verdict was announced. In contrast, two incidents of racial hatred – one in Chicago, the other near Detroit – have been completely ignored by Holder’s DOJ. Both involved black children in poor neighborhoods being hit by cars after darting into traffic. In both cases, relatives and friends of the children involved mobbed the white drivers. Neither has seen one iota of attention from the DOJ’s civil rights division.
It’s been over a year since the news first broke of the IRS targeting conservative groups. Early on, an Inspector General reported that there was more than enough evidence of a conspiracy against conservative groups – the IRS was using its power to try to intimidate those who didn’t support Obama. Eight months into the DOJ’s so-called “investigation”, it came to light that the lead investigator, Barbara Kay Bosserman, was a major contributor to the Obama campaign. Holder had absolutely no answer for the questions that Ted Cruz had for him in January. Now, suddenly, in light of Holder’s thinly-veiled threat during the hearing yesterday, we’re hearing that the DOJ is actually going to prosecute Lois Lerner for her role in the targeting scandal.
Convenient, isn’t it, that we’re calling him out for his record after he kicks back and flippantly all but threatens Rep. Gohmert and out of nowhere Lerner is being prosecuted? Quite the CYA moment.
It is astonishing to me that this administration hasn’t been held accountable for the multiple egregious scandals it has been embroiled in. If Holder doesn’t want us to go there, then maybe he should do his job rather than applying the law only to people he doesn’t personally like. And, really…the threats, sir? We all know that’s exactly what that was.
Don’t go there.