From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:
Holder Melts Down
Can anyone, with a straight face, argue that Eric Holder should remain as Attorney General, and the country can have faith in his abilities and judgment in the coming months and years? I mean, apparently he doesn’t even write things down anymore:
Lawmakers skewered Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday over the Justice Department’s sweeping effort to snoop on Associated Press reporters and editors — while the embattled Cabinet secretary kicked responsibility down the chain of command.
Holder was in the hot seat for hours of testimony before the House Judiciary Committee just days after the scandal broke, telling lawmakers that his deputy, James Cole, was the one who authorized the sweeping subpoena that caused an uproar in both parties.
“It’s an ongoing matter and an ongoing matter in which I know nothing,” Holder said.
Holder says he recused himself from the matter completely — but in an embarrassing admission, he said he hasn’t found a written record of that action.
Dana Milbank rips Holder to shreds:
As the nation’s top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information. But he seems to be proud of how little he knows.
Why didn’t his Justice Department inform the Associated Press, as the law requires, before pawing through reporters’ phone records?
“I do not know,” the attorney general told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon, “why that was or was not done. I simply don’t have a factual basis to answer that question.”
Why didn’t the DOJ seek the AP’s cooperation, as the law also requires, before issuing subpoenas?
“I don’t know what happened there,” Holder replied. “I was recused from the case.”
Why, asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), was the whole matter handled in a manner that appears “contrary to the law and standard procedure”?
“I don’t have a factual basis to answer the questions that you have asked, because I was recused,” the attorney general said.
On and on Holder went: “I don’t know. I don’t know. . . . I would not want to reveal what I know. . . . I don’t know why that didn’t happen. . . . I know nothing, so I’m not in a position really to answer.”
What do you know that Eric Holder doesn’t know? A lot, apparently.