The eruption of alleged malfeasance by the Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder should not be a surprise to anyone. This man was a deeply flawed candidate for the post and was cheered on by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar. This is not a tale of guilt by association or partisan sniping. This is a post about the questionable judgment exhibited by Klobuchar during the confirmation process of Holder. Instead of exercising her constitutional powers to make sure a terrible candidate was closely vetted for a powerful governing post, Klobuchar glossed over Holder’s previous mistakes and issues. She followed her hyper-partisan instincts and in doing so burdened us with an Attorney General who has corrupted the Department of Justice in order to further progressive/socialist Democratic plans. She stood on the floor of the Senate and endorsed this disastrous candidate.
From Senator Klobuchar’s website, a February 2, 2009 speech on the Senate floor endorsing the confirmation of Eric Holder for Attorney General.
“He is the right man to lead the department of justice at this critical time. And most importantly, coming from a state that had our own share of problems with a political appointee as U.S. attorney, he is the right man to get the department back on course, to put the law first when it comes to the department of justice.” Klobuchar is referring to her issues with Bush appointees. She believed the Republican president had appointed a U.S. Attorney that was too partisan and too controversial. Klobuchar argued Holder would be a head of the Justice Department that wouldn’t pander to party line and would make decisions based on rule of law as it stands.
That is absurd. Holder was neck deep in the pardoning of a Democratic Party donor by President Bill Clinton. Holder’s explanations of his actions are weak sauce, sauce Klobuchar bought because she wanted to and not because they explained his actions. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA asked Holder about the political nature of the pardon of Marc Rich and this was Holder’s sworn testimony in the New York Times transcript of the hearing January 16, 2009.
“HOLDER: The mistakes that I made in the Rich matter as I think I said earlier all involved the fact that — a variety of things — among them, I should have been more informed about Marc Rich and his case. I was not.
I should have kept the people who were involved in the prosecution in the Southern District of New York — good lawyers — and people at Main Justice who were involved in the pardon process, I should have kept them involved. I assumed that they were. I found out later that they were not.
With regard to the political stuff and the money going back and forth between, I guess, Rich’s wife or supporters, whatever, that I did not know about. That did not enter into the decision or the actions that I took.”
Of course, it was Holder’s job to ferret out such information, even if one believed he didn’t know about the political donations. But, as a partisan Democrat, he probably just avoided the issue. Marc Rich had fled the country, taken up residence overseas, renounced his citizenship, and avoided ending up in prison as a tax cheat. Klobuchar swallowed Holder’s absurd defense that he didn’t know, wasn’t informed, and should have looked into it. This is the standard Eric Holder line. Compare the previous statement with his avoidance of blame in Fast and Furious.
From ABCNews, Jake Tapper reports:
“On October 18, 2010, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer wrote a memo to Holder, noting that among the “SIGNIFICANT UPCOMING EVENTS” would be an October 27 indictment of eight individuals involved with trafficking hundreds of firearms to Mexico. “The sealing will likely last until another investigation, Phoenix-based ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’ is ready for takedown,” Breuer wrote.
[. . .]
Issa asked Holder when he first knew about the Fast and Furious program.
Holder replied: “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” ‘Fast and Furious: GOP Says Eric Holder is ‘Either Incompetent’ or ‘Misleading Congress’ – October 4, 2011.
According to Holder, he didn’t know anything, he didn’t read his memos, and he never looked into these reports. It was as though the Attorney General was just an old duffer scanning the newspaper, sitting in the park feeding pigeons instead of being the chief law enforcement officer in the nation.
Just like with Marc Rich. But, Klobuchar was copacetic with Holder’s hazy memory, lazy collecting of evidence, and apparent lack of interest in pursuing the facts of any issue. In fact, Klobuchar excuses Holder’s incompetence or complete lack of ethics with this:
“He explained that one thing was a mistake, that he wouldn’t have made that decision if he had more information. He admitted that, and we were able to question him at length.” So, Klobuchar states it was just one little teensy mistake to have allowed Rich’s pardon to slip through. There was more than just one lapse of judgment that should’ve given pause to her.
Senator Grassley questioned Holder about the commuting of sentences for some convicted FALN terrorists. President Clinton ended up releasing these fine fellows. Here is the exchange, again from Holder’s confirmation hearing:
“GRASSLEY “. . . The video shows Cortes and Torres in the process of building a bomb. Were the two terrorists in this video in the group that you asked the pardon attorney to draft a positive recommendation for?
HOLDER: Senator, I can’t answer that question. I don’t have the records in front of me. I don’t know the names of the people who were among that group of 15, I guess.
I don’t know the answer to that.
GRASSLEY: OK. Well, as I said, their names were Edwin Cortes and Alejandria (sic) Torres. At the time you directed the pardon attorney to draft a neutral options memo, had you ever seen this video before?
HOLDER: No. I’ve not seen this video before.
GRASSLEY: Are you weren’t aware that the video existed?
HOLDER: I think I’ve seen it in some news accounts in the recent past, like, over the last week or so, something like that.
GRASSLEY: Were you aware that after this video was taken, a search to the apartment led to the seizure of 24 pounds of dynamite, 24 blasting caps, weapons, disguises, false identification, and thousands of rounds of ammunition?
HOLDER: I can’t say that I’m aware of that specific fact. I did know that the people who were a part of that group, for lack of a better term, had access to, had been captured with explosives. I don’t know the amounts or whether it was in connection with this particular thing.
GRASSLEY: Were you aware that FALN terrorists threatened to kill the judge at their sentencing hearing?
HOLDER: That one I’m not. I’m not aware of that.
Holder doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what he was doing. He didn’t know any salient facts. He didn’t know any specifics. I don’t think I would forget if there were pounds of dynamite and a video of them making bombs but absent-minded Holder is completely at sea about the entire matter. It’s almost as though he never even worked up the case. Klobuchar conveniently forgets about this Holder lapse. Or, she just ties in the Rich pardon in 2001 with the FALN pardons of 1999 as one event. In either case, she’s lacks serious credibility because this exchange raises serious questions about Holder’s fitness to lead and to faithfully follow the law. That’s especially when coupled with the Marc Rich fiasco.
Klobuchar, after hearing this testimony about Holder’s inability process even pardon requests says this:
“Eric Holder’s background is, first of all, as a prosecutor in the field. But just as importantly, it’s also as a sound, solid, competent manager who is guided by justice. Someone who will lead quietly but firmly.” Now if that isn’t evidence of a hyperpartisan apologist, I don’t know what is. Holder’s deficits when it comes to collecting facts and managing legal matters are glaringly apparent. But, Klobuchar is even bolder. She actually argues Holder would not be as partisan as Bush appointees.
“As I mentioned at the beginning, I saw it in my own state when one bad decision made up on high, when the Attorney General was Alberto Gonzales, putting in an inexperienced political appointee into the top spot of a gem of a U.S. attorneys’ office in Minnesota created havoc in our state and that office.” This blatant attack with purely political motives presages Holder’s own partisan actions leading to the Fast and Furious debacle.
Holder and Obama have repeatedly called for more gun control legislation because of the situation on the Mexican border. Their Democratic allies in the House have urged more gun restriction legislation and draconian limits on gun sales. These calls ratcheted up right before the breaking of Fast and Furious. And now we find this:
From CBSNews, Sharyl Attkinsson reports, December 7, 2011, ‘Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations’
“On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”
Attkinsson writes, “ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.”
It appears the entire arrangement was to push the left’s agenda. But Holder can’t admit to the creation of havoc to give evidence to gun control legislation. He has to deny, pled ignorance, and generally dissemble as well as he can.
This seems to be a pattern. He pleads ignorance and that got him past the confirmation hearing with saps like Klobuchar but it no longer is enough. He should have known, probably did know, and since the killing of a border agent, Brian Terry, hasn’t done anything to fix the situation. It’s quite obvious this Attorney General is incapable of fulfilling his sworn duties.
Once again from Klobuchar’s speech vouching for Holder.
“We need to put justice and the law at the helm. I support Eric Holder’s nomination to be Attorney General because I believe that Eric Holder can steer this big ship and get it back on course and put justice at the helm.”
As I said at the beginning, this isn’t a case of Klobuchar’s guilt as a fellow Democrat. This is about her poor judgment. This is her hyperpartisan belief Democrats can do no wrong. In spite of crushing evidence apparent at the hearings that Holder wasn’t capable either organizationally or ethically, Klobuchar supported him. It’s not merely because she voted for a bad candidate for Attorney General but her partiality was so terrible she stood on the floor of the Senate and praised him. Now we have hundreds of people dead on both sides of the Mexican-American border, thousands of guns are floating around in criminal circles, and Amy Klobuchar is mute on Holder.
Yet another reason this woman should not be returned to Washington, D.C.
Crossposted at Looktruenorth.com