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Former AG Holder on Bill Barr: 'Unfit' to Serve

Holder calls Barr's conduct 'nakedly partisan,' 'deeply inappropriate' in 'WaPo' op-ed
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2019 8:38 AM CST

(Newser) – Past administration officials are often reluctant to take swipes at their successors, and Eric Holder is no exception—but the former attorney general is now speaking up. In a Wednesday op-ed in the Washington Post, Holder blasts AG Bill Barr for "a series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan, and so deeply inappropriate" for someone in the top law-enforcement position in the US that Holder felt compelled to respond. Holder is most concerned about what he paints as Barr's apparent fealty to President Trump, instead of to the Constitution and US citizens. Among the examples he cites are a recent speech Barr made to the Federalist Society, in which he advocated for the power of the executive branch and dismissed that of the legislative and judicial branches.

Holder also takes issue with a seemingly veiled threat by Barr that communities that don't offer "support and respect" for law enforcement "might find themselves without the police protection they need," as well as Barr's attacks on the FBI and the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General, both under his purview. Holder writes that he gets "just how tough the job can be," with Mediaite noting he himself was held in contempt of Congress in 2012 for refusing a subpoena on Operation Fast and Furious. Fox News also points out that Holder boasted of being close with President Obama, calling himself Obama's "wingman" in a 2013 interview. Still, Holder is firm in his warning on Barr. "I now fear that his conduct—running political interference for an increasingly lawless president—will wreak lasting damage," he writes. "William Barr ... is unfit to lead the Justice Department." (Read more Eric Holder stories.)

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