Former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sent a message of encouragement to discontented Justice Department “career employees” on Friday morning.
“Trump and Sessions are trying to destroy the traditions of the Justice Department,” Holder wrote. “Hope is found in the career employees who stand for institutional norms. Now is the time for them to continue to be strong – change will come. We support you.” Holder recently made news by pressing for the impeachment of President Trump under the 25th amendment.
His message was a response to a report by the New York Times entitled “Justice Dept. Rank-and-File Tell of Discontent Over Sessions’s Approach,” compiling information and opinions gathered from “two dozen current and former career department lawyers who worked under Mr. Sessions.”
Former Clinton administration Justice Department official Robert Litt told the Times he “can’t recall a time when morale has been as low as I have heard from some former colleagues.” Department spokeperson Sarah Isgur Flores disagrees.
“We know of no department employee who is opposed to policies that uphold the rule of law and protect the American people,” she said in a statement, “which are precisely the policies that this department has implemented and embraced.” Flores further maintained that Sessions’ work was “vital” to the fights against violent crime, opioid abuse, and border security.
The anonymous resistance within the Justice Department may have Holder’s blessing, but as the oft-purported “blue wave” seems to be receding into more of a puddle, grandstanding from a distant presidential hopeful may not be enough.