One of the nation’s former top legal advisers denounced his successor for remaining loyal to the president on Dec. 11.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder (D) questioned the integrity of incumbent Attorney General William Barr (R) for being too “nakedly partisan” in a November speech to the Federalist Society where he suggested Congress should trust Donald Trump to execute the law.
“To me, his attempts to vilify the president’s critics sounded more like the tactics of an unscrupulous criminal defense lawyer than a U.S. attorney general,” Holder said in an opinion piece published by The Washington Post.
The former attorney general was also upset after Barr allegedly criticized staff from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for attempting to undermine the “rule of law.”
“When, in the same speech, Barr accused the ‘other side’ of the ‘systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law,’ he exposed himself as a partisan actor, not an impartial law enforcement official,” Holder said. “Barr has made a series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan and so deeply inappropriate for America’s chief law enforcement official that they demand a response from someone who held the same office.”
He appeared to be confused since he made the remarks after stating he was “reluctant” to speak ill of his successor and still respected public office.
“As a former U.S. attorney general, I am reluctant to publicly criticize my successors,” Holder said. “I respect the office and understand just how tough the job can be.”
He continued his tirade against Barr and Trump on social media.
“To the men and women of DOJ/FBI: stay strong, keep the faith, be true to the oath you have sworn, be secure in the knowledge that you have the support of the American people,” Holder said on Twitter. “The era of Trump and Barr will pass—their slander, insults and lies will end. We respect and believe in you.”
Fox News speculated the former attorney general considered himself close to former President Barack Obama (D) and even called himself Barry’s “wingman.”
“I’m still enjoying what I’m doing, there’s still work to be done,” Holder said back in the year 2013 according to Fox News. “I’m still the president’s wingman, so I’m there with my boy, so we’ll see.”
The admission drew harsh criticism at the time since the attorney general is typically considered to operate independently of the president, mirroring the separation of legislative and judiciary powers guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.