Speaking at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference on Wednesday, Eric Holder took exception to criticism of his tenure as attorney general. He even hinted that the “unprecedented, unwarranted ugly and divisive adversity” was motivated by racism.
“It had nothing to do with me, forget about that,” Holder said. “What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
Holder’s notion that past attorneys general have escaped widespread criticism, or that criticism directed toward him is solely race-based, overlooks incidents of those before him, including one of his most recent predecessors. As Mediaite’s Noah Rothman points out, Bush-era attorney general Alberto Gonzales faced calls for his impeachment during his time in the office.
In 2007, seven Democratic representatives, including some still in Congress, urged the House Judiciary Committee to investigate fully whether sufficient grounds existed for the House of Representatives to impeach Gonzales for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Additionally, Reagan-era attorney general Edwin Meese hardly escaped criticism while in office. Taking issue with his handling of the Iran-Contra investigation, among other issues, critics of Meese and the administration printed posters and t-shirts with the phrase “Meese is a Pig” in an effort to remove him.