Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation comes as no surprise and brings to an end one of the most polarizing tenures of an Attorney General in the Department of Justice’s history. Although Eric Holder should have been fired long ago, having an Attorney General whose sole mission was to protect President Obama from scandal after scandal out of office is always welcome news.
But why is Eric Holder leaving now? Similar to so many of Eric Holder’s decisions, this one was purely political in nature. He is hoping that his successor will be able to get through the process during the lame duck session following the midterm elections. It is becoming increasingly likely that Democrats will lose the majority in the U.S. Senate, making it a tough hill to climb for a controversial Obama Attorney General pick to get confirmed in a Republican controlled Senate. It is fitting that even when resigning Holder sides with politics over ethics.
Eric Holder’s record was, in one word, terrible. Not only was he the only sitting Cabinet member to have been held in contempt of Congress because of the Fast and Furious scandal, but Holder also named Fox News Reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator for leaks from the Department of Justice with no proof.
To top it all off, the most negligent and partisan decision Holder made as Attorney General was shrugging off the IRS targeting of conservative groups in the 2012 election cycle. The proof of an attempted cover-up by Lois Lerner and the entire IRS is rampant. In response, Attorney General Eric Holder failed in his duties as chief law enforcement officer and never properly investigated the IRS.
Since the scandal first broke in May of 2013, Citizens United called for an impartial Special Counsel to investigate the IRS. It was clear then, and it is clear now, that a fair prosecutor must take this case out of President Obama’s hopelessly politicized Justice Department. The American people support such an investigation. When the scandal broke, polling indicated that 76 percent of Americans thought a Special Counsel should be appointed. Since then, the scandal has only intensified. There are multitudes of missing emails, many destroyed hard drives, and sinister phone calls to Congressional offices about coordinating the leaks of critical documents pertaining to the case by Justice Department officials.
I would imagine that most, if not all, Republican Senators believe there should be a Special Counsel in charge of investigating the IRS. Therefore, it is my hope that no Senator would vote to approve a new Attorney General who is unwilling to do so. They should make President Obama find a nominee for Attorney General who supports the appointment of a Special Counsel.
The next Attorney General must prove during the confirmation process that he or she values the law first and foremost. For the past six years Eric Holder’s priority was to protect President Obama, period. The Justice Department should in no way be an offshoot of the Democratic National Committee – but sadly that is exactly what it became under former Attorney General Eric Holder.