When Attorney General Eric Holder’s reign at the Justice Department ended earlier this month, readers of National Review probably hoped it would mean the end of stories about Holder’s seemingly inexhaustible misbehavior and legal shenanigans. But apparently he could not leave without one last abuse of taxpayer funds.
Holder is the only attorney general in history to be held in contempt of Congress. But that didn’t stop the Justice Department from releasing a nine-minute paean to him, which paints him as a cross between Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Theresa. It’s entitled “Attorney General Eric Holder: The People’s Lawyer.”
We’re not kidding about the MLK Jr. comparison. The video is full of images — like this one, which has him standing in MLK’s shadow — obviously intended to claim that Holder is a modern-day Martin Luther King:
Or this photo of Holder in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel, with fingers pointed by his guide to copy the infamous photo from the assassination:
We weren’t sure whether to laugh or to cry as we watched the parade of politicos from central casting of the Democratic National Committee pay glowing tribute to Holder, from former president Bill Clinton to Senator Patrick Leahy to Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Bill Clinton is quoted as saying that throughout his career Holder “has always dedicated himself to equal justice and equal opportunity under the law for all people.”
When Holder was Clinton’s No. 2 official at Justice, Holder certainly presented international fugitive Marc Rich with an “equal opportunity” to get a pardon from Bill Clinton after Rich’s wife made huge contributions to the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign. Holder did the same thing for 16 terrorists, from the Puerto Rican independence movement FALN, who had carried out more than 130 bombings, several armed robberies, and six slayings. The pardons were given even though the terrorists showed no remorse for their heinous crimes and hadn’t even sought clemency. But they apparently were important for the Puerto Rican vote in that same Senate race. Equal justice at work.
Entirely missing from the video are any headlines about Operation Fast and Furious or any of the other numerous low points in Holder’s six years at Justice.
Perez, who also sings Holder’s praises, was found by a federal court to have lied about the involvement of political appointees in the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party voter-intimidation case. Violating federal law, he used personal e-mails to hide a secret quid pro quo deal intended to void a challenge, before the U.S. Supreme Court, to the dubious “disparate impact” theory used by the administration. And the inspector general’s report about the mismanagement of the Civil Rights Division when Perez headed it is an embarrassment to the Justice Department.
The video has Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) praising Holder for de-politicizing the Justice Department after the Bush administration. Whitehouse must have gone “through the looking-glass” before he was interviewed, since, as we have outlined in our book on Holder’s tenure, the now-former attorney general politicized the Justice Department to an unprecedented extent, especially with the hiring in places like the Civil Rights Division.
Of course, the video homage has photos of complimentary headlines from NPR, the Washington Post, and other liberal media outfits. Entirely missing are headlines about Operation Fast and Furious – probably the most reckless law-enforcement operation every (mis)conducted by the Justice Department — Holder’s refusal to carry out his duty to enforce federal laws like our immigration statutes, or any of the other numerous low points in his six years at Justice.
#related#Finally, one of the most amusing parts of the video is a list of Holder’s accomplishments. It includes the claim that he “de-politicized DOJ’s hiring practices.” As we have noted, that is a joke to everyone but Holder’s sycophants and the producers of this
Funnier still is his “accomplishment” of having “modernized DOJ’s media guidelines.” The “modernization” of DOJ’s media guidelines occurred only after Holder was severely criticized for authorizing the secret seizure of the telephone records of the Associated Press as well as the phone and e-mail records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. The supposedly “new” guidelines still allow Justice Department prosecutors to act exactly as they did in the AP and Rosen cases. The new guidelines were just face-saving propaganda created by the Justice PR shop to satisfy the media that Holder was taking steps to assuage their concerns, even though they made no significant changes in Justice policy.
We have no idea how much taxpayer money was spent to produce and edit this unseemly vanity project, but we have no doubt that it could have been better used to carry out the actual duties of the Justice Department — which is to enforce the law fairly and objectively and prosecute wrongdoers, no matter their race, citizenship, or political ties. Understandably, that was not listed as one of Eric Holder’s accomplishments in The Peoples’ Lawyer.