Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama’s senior adviser, wouldn’t lend her support to Attorney General Eric Holder at this week’s Democratic National Convention when a reporter asked whether she thinks Holder should resign.
In video footage published by the Washington Times’ Kerry Picket, Jarrett refuses to answer the question “Should Eric Holder resign?” when asked several times. Jarrett keeps walking and her press assistant is heard telling the reporter asking Jarrett the question to contact her instead of Jarrett.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz has not answered when The Daily Caller asked why Jarrett wouldn’t support Holder when a reporter asked that question.
Jarrett’s non-position on Holder now differs from her position in the past. In the summer 2012 book “Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency,” Newsweek’s Daniel Klaidman revealed that Jarrett was “very important” to Holder’s continued tenure as attorney general.
Klaidman reported that Holder considered resigning in fall 2010 during the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed scandal until Jarrett talked him out of it. (RELATED: Author: Jarrett ‘very important’ in Holder continuing as attorney general)
“The loss of his mother, the continuing criticism over [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed], the lashings in the press and Holder’s sense of isolation within the administration had turned his job into a grind,” according to Klaidman’s book. “He woke up on many mornings with a knot in his stomach, not sure if he’s be able to make it through the day. … He told [his wife] Sharon he didn’t know if he had the emotional strength to go on as attorney general. He thought seriously about returning to his Washington law firm.”
Klaidman told TheDC in June that it was Jarrett who helped Holder bounce back from the brink.
“He [Holder] does have very powerful regenerative powers,” Klaidman said then. “I think he is a guy who basically sees the glass as half full rather than half empty — fairly optimistic — but was a really rough patch for him. And, as the book lays out, he was talked into staying by Valerie Jarrett who was, once again, there for him at a difficult moment. I think he has no regrets that he stayed.”
It has been unclear whether Jarrett has been supportive of Holder through the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, which — like the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ordeal — prompted large numbers of members of Congress to demand Holder’s resignation. The White House’s Schultz would not comment on that relationship and hasn’t for months. Jarrett also has not commented publicly about it.
Holder is likely to face renewed scrutiny when the Department of Justice’s internal Inspector General is expected to release its report on Fast and Furious next week. House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa has called a hearing for Tuesday Sept. 11, during which he has asked Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to testify about that report.
But according to the Los Angeles Times, Horowitz wrote back to Issa saying his report may not be done in time for the Tuesday hearing.
“In a letter to Capitol Hill, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said his investigators now must pore over wiretap records, grand jury material and sealed court records to make sure nothing that should not be disclosed is inadvertently included in the final report,” the Times’ Richard Serrano wrote.
Horowitz wrote to Issa that because of those “legal restrictions, we cannot release the report or discuss its conclusions until the issues arising from this sensitivity review have been resolved.”
During Operation Fast and Furious, which was organized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and overseen by the Department of Justice, the Obama administration sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via “straw purchasers” who bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else. This tactic is known as “gunwalking.”
Fast and Furious-related weapons were used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and at least 300 Mexican civilians.
A total of 130 House members, eight U.S. senators and two sitting governors have demanded Holder resign over Fast and Furious.