Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama’s self-described “wingman,” made headlines recently by regurgitating Democrats’ fanciful claim that President Trump has obstructed justice. “If one looks at the dismissal of James Comey and the reasons why the president told Lester Holt he did that . . . and a variety of other things, I think you technically have a case of obstruction of justice,” Holder opined. This vapid political posturing serves as a vivid reminder that Obama did not name Holder to the nation’s top law enforcement post because of his (non-existent) lawyering skills or legal acumen. Instead, Holder “earned” the position because he is a loyal errand boy of the Democratic Party who “facilitated the most unjust presidential pardon in American history” for Bill Clinton.
It is the height of hypocrisy for “the first sitting attorney general and first sitting Cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in criminal and civil contempt of Congress by both Democrats and Republicans” to accuse anyone else of corruptly obstructing justice. As Obama’s wingman, Holder shamelessly politicized the DOJ and “did everything he could to evade [congressional] oversight responsibilities by misleading, misinforming and ignoring members of Congress and its committees.” But the aspiring presidential candidate’s recent statements reflect liberals’ desperate attempt to cheat Trump out of the White House since they could not beat him fair and square in an election. Unfortunately for liberals, the notion that Trump obstructed justice by firing a confirmed leaker like Comey cannot withstand legal scrutiny.
In response to questioning from Holt on whether the Russian investigation had influenced his decision to fire the former director, the president clearly explained that, “I just want somebody that’s competent…. [Comey’s] not. He’s a show boater.” Trump also noted that the FBI was “in turmoil” thanks to Comey’s poor leadership. Ironically, before Comey’s firing, Democrats overwhelmingly agreed with Trump. After Trump’s election, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said of the FBI director, “I do not have confidence in him any longer.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also expressed the view that “Maybe [Comey’s] not in the right job.” And liberal Senator Dianne Feinstein “took perhaps the strongest shot at Comey,” declaring that his conduct was “appalling.”
Holder fails to explain how the president broke the law by firing an incompetent government employee who Republicans and Democrats alike agreed had engaged in appalling conduct. Nevertheless, he and other liberals are cynically exploiting the fact that Trump also stated that “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.” But the fact that Trump wanted to fire Comey because he is an incompetent showboat and the fact that Trump believes the “Russia thing” is a witch hunt backed by sore loser liberals don’t add up to obstruction of justice no matter how desperately Democrats—and their media allies—try to spin the facts.
There is zero evidence that Trump believed that firing Comey would terminate the Russia investigation. Nor is there any evidence that he propositioned the new FBI director, or anyone else, to drop the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as a condition for being hired or keeping their job. To the contrary, current FBI Director Wray has stated unequivocally, “I can say very confidently that I have not detected any whiff of interference with that investigation.” Moreover, the probe by special prosecutor Robert Mueller and his band of merry Hillary Clinton supporters continues unabated without any obstruction.
Given these facts, neither Holder nor his fellow travelers can credibly explain why it was illegal for the president to exercise his lawful authority to fire an incompetent employee for “appalling” conduct. Nor can they reconcile their accusations with the fact that Trump fired Comey after consulting with lawyers and receiving a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that recommended Comey’s removal. As Rosenstein’s memo explained, “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, [Comey] cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”
Is Mueller really going to argue that Trump broke the law by firing Comey, an incompetent leaker of confidential information? If so, he would be asserting that the second-in-command at the U.S. Justice Department gave the president legal advice that recommended he commit the supposedly illegal offense. Such a theory flies in the face of logic, invades the authority of the president to fire inept employees, and lacks legal merit. It is, therefore, past time for Democrats like Holder—and their shamelessly biased media enablers—to stop insulting our intelligence with the “obstruction of justice” political charade.
Nick James is the nom de plume of a trial attorney in the D.C. area who formerly worked for the United States Department of Justice as an award-winning federal prosecutor.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.