- Eric Holder, who served as attorney general under US President Barack Obama, has excoriated Attorney General William Barr as “unfit” to serve in his position.
- Barr has been accused of acting more like President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer than attorney general.
- In a Wednesday Washington Post op-ed article, Holder described Barr’s conduct as “plainly ideological,” “nakedly partisan,” and “deeply inappropriate for America’s chief law-enforcement official.”
- Holder accused Barr of “using partisan talking points bearing no resemblance to the facts his own department has uncovered” in his response to the Department of Justice inspector general’s report.
- Barr disputed the findings of the inspector general’s report into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI acted “in bad faith” by opening the inquiry.
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Eric Holder, who served as attorney general under President Barack Obama, has excoriated Attorney General William Barr as “unfit” to serve in his position.
Holder, who served as attorney general from 2009 to 2015, opened a Wednesday Washington Post op-ed article by stating that while he was “reluctant to publicly criticise my successors,” Barr’s recent conduct was so “plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan, and so deeply inappropriate for America’s chief law-enforcement official” that he felt he needed to respond.
Barr, who was confirmed to his post in January, has had a controversial tenure, with many critics charging that he has acted more like President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer than the nation’s attorney general.
Most recently, Barr has drawn sharp criticism for publicly disputing the findings of the Department of Justice inspector general’s report into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI acted “in bad faith” by opening the inquiry.
In his article, Holder first expressed concern about remarks Barr made an event at the Federalist Society last month, which Holder blasted as advocating “essentially unbridled executive power, dismissing the authority of the legislative and judicial branches – and the checks and balances at the heart of America’s constitutional order.”
Barr also raised eyebrows in that speech by delving straight into partisan politics, saying, “In waging scorched-earth, no-holds-barred war of ‘resistance’ against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.”
Holder said that by making those remarks, “he exposed himself as a partisan actor, not an impartial law-enforcement official.”
The former attorney general also took Barr to task for remarks a few weeks later at a Department of Justice ceremony in which he appeared to threaten localities that weren’t, in his view, sufficiently respectful to law enforcement with fewer resources.
Holder charged that “no one who understands – let alone truly respects – the impartial administration of justice or the role of law enforcement could ever say such a thing,” calling Barr’s comments “antithetical to the most basic tenets of equality and justice.”
Later, Holder accused Barr of “using partisan talking points bearing no resemblance to the facts his own department has uncovered” in his response to the inspector general’s report, which concluded that the bureau had “authorised purpose” in launching the Russia investigation in July 2016.
“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr told the NBC correspondent Pete Williams. “I think there were gross abuses … and inexplicable behaviour that is intolerable in the FBI.”
Holder said Barr’s response to the inspector general’s report proved that Barr’s “words and actions have been fundamentally inconsistent with his duty to the Constitution” and worried that Barr’s conduct “running political interference for an increasingly lawless president – will wreak lasting damage.”
- Read more:
- AG William Barr went to bat for Trump in a wild interview where he baselessly claimed the FBI acted in ‘bad faith’ during the Russia probe
- William Barr warned that communities that don’t ‘support and respect’ cops could lose ‘the police protection they need’
- Attorney General William Barr is disputing a watchdog’s conclusion that the Russia probe was justified
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