Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Why Did Eric Holder Resign And What's Next?
The Noisy Room :I believe there are a number of possibilities as to why and when Holder stepped down:
1. The first thing I heard was that Holder was stepping down because of Fast and Furious. Though he is leaving the scene of the crime, he is still under Congressional investigation. A judge has denied a delay requested by the DOJ concerning the document list connected to the case. The documents had previously been withheld under Obama’s claim to executive privilege:
The list, better known as a Vaughn index, was requested through a June 2012 FOIA filing by government watchdog Judicial Watch. When DOJ didn’t respond to the FOIA request in the time required by law, Judicial Watch sued in September 2012, seeking all documents DOJ and the White House are withholding from Congress under executive privilege claims. President Obama made the assertion on June 20, 2012 just moments before Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt. In July 2014, after two years of battling for information, Judge Bates ordered the Department of Justice to release the Vaughn Index by October 1. DOJ responded by asking for a month long delay in releasing the list with a deadline of November 3, just one day before the 2014-midterm elections. That request has been denied. A short delay was granted and DOJ must produce the Vaughn index by October 22.
“The government’s arguments for even more time are unconvincing,” Bates said in his ruling. “[S]eventy-five days—plus another twenty-one, based in part on Judicial Watch’s consent—is enough time for the government to prepare the index that this Court has ordered, given that this matter has been pending for over two years. The Court will therefore extend the Department’s Vaughn index submission deadline to October 22, 2014—and no further.”;
“The government argues that it must devote significant numbers of attorneys to this matter if it hopes to comply with the current Vaughn index deadline … But the Department has known about its Vaughn index obligations since July 18, 2014 … At best, it means the Department has been slow to react to this Court’s previous Order. At worst, it means the Department has ignored that Order until now,” he added.
The House Oversight Committee is also suing for the release of the Vaughn index and earlier this month U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered DOJ to produce requested information to lawmakers by November 1.
This scandal and Holder’s flat out refusal to cooperate, landed him a Contempt of Congress charge, which he is still subject to. Most legal experts, though, believe he will walk. Sigh. However, that being said, Judicial Watch believes they are very close to nailing Holder’s hide to a wall.
2. Holder may be stepping down so that Obama can appoint a new Attorney General before the 2014 elections take place, which could go badly for the Democrats. However, this is subject to confirmation and there probably is not time for that.
There are those that would fight against this a la Harry Reid and the Nuclear Option move; Ted Cruz is chief among them. He called for Holder’s impeachment and now he intends to make sure Conservatives have a say in the next Attorney General of the United States. And Cruz has a plan:
Cruz, who has previously made the case for impeaching Holder in an attempt to have a special prosecutor investigate the IRS, doesn’t want a confirmation battle to take place during the lame-duck session.
“To ensure that justice is served and that the attorney general is not simply replaced with another extreme partisan who will likewise disregard the law, the Senate should wait until the new Congress is sworn in before confirming the next attorney general,” Cruz said in a Thursday afternoon statement. “Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced.”;
Republican senators have the ability to slow down the process.
“With Republican opposition, any nominee could take as long as three weeks before even clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee, because of rules that guarantee them, as the minority party, a chance to delay the vote,” the Los Angeles Times explains. “Following that, the Senate floor debate could take a week to clear all the procedural hurdles at the Republican minority’s disposal to stall the vote.”;
Get em, Ted! He seems to be one of the very few in our halls of power with the stones to take on the bad guys. Why, his actions are almost Presidential!
3. Holder could be angling for a seat on the Supreme Court. Obama was tearful when making the announcement. Horsepuckey… Holder isn’t going anywhere… he’s shifting. And one possible shift is just too horrific to contemplate. Rush Limbaugh floated the possibility that Holder is stepping down so he can be nominated for the Supreme Court. Words fail me and the cringe thingie is getting worse. By all that is Holy, please let Rush be wrong this one time. Please.
I predict that whatever is next, it will not be good.
The Independent Sentinel:I think Eric Holder stepped down because he has something better in the offing. Let's hope it's not Supreme Court Justice. It will also allow the White House to shut down the scandal investigations even further.
The possible picks for his replacement aren't any better.
JoshuaPundit: Well, a couple of things.
First off, it's obvious to me that this was planned far in advance. Holder and this president have already shown their contempt for congress and the law numerous times, anything incriminating has likely already been cleaned up ala' IRS-gate with its the mysterious missing hard drives, serial obstruction of justice and computer failures and the time factor is on Holder and the attorney general's side. - even if the GOP take the Senate and in the unlikely event John Boehner finds out where his testicles are hidden, it's probably far too late in the game for a special prosecutor to be appointed, hearings to conclude or a trial on articles of impeachment in the senate before the 2016 election and President Barack Hussein Obama's exit in January of 2017. And because of Obama's race, there's no will to do so, which is racism en extremis, but that's the reality.We are indeed cowards when it comes to race.
The lame duck congress reconvenes November 12th, and there are very few legislative business left after that before the holiday break. By resigning now, Holder gives the president a chance to shove the new nominee through with as little time for vetting as possible because Reid will pull the nuclear option again.
If I had to lay odds on who the new AG nominee will be, I'd say Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, the former Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States DOJ.He's a creature of George Soros, has a history of advocating for amnesty for illegal aliens,and knows the DOJ intimately including where all the bodies are buried. He's also a Leftist Radical skilled at racial politics, and he's Latino, a demographic where the president has been lagging in the polls lately. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, famed for his anti-Wall Street activities would also be a logical choice politically, fitting in with Obama's fake 'warrior for the middle class' rhetoric.
The Supreme Court? The closest member to 'retirement' is Ruth Bader Ginsberg, whom regardless of what you think of her politics is waging a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer. Her life is the Supreme Court, her fellow justices are all close friends (particularly Justice Scalia)and she has voiced criticism of this president's extra-constitutional attitudes before. She has said numerous times that she's not resigning and likely intends to stay until she's carried out. While Majority Leader Harry Reid would not hesitate for a second to break the rules on the nuclear option which allow the filibuster on SCOTUS nominees, I'd be very surprised if the votes for the sort of radical Barack Obama would nominate will be there after January 2015.
GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD : AG Holder will no doubt enjoy and enrich via a brilliant career in the race industry and who can say? Perhaps he'll finally have an overtly robust discussion with several cowards.
The next AG may actually be a very familiar face - former Homeland Security's Big Sis - Janet Napolitano.
Hilarity shall NOT ensue
Bookworm Room : I don't actually have any opinions of my own on this one, so I'll recycle two opinions that I've read. I've read that Holder stepped down because the Fast & Furious investigation was getting too close and he needed to spare the Obama administration embarrassment. Other investigations grinding there way through the House are also too hot if he's still in the Justice Department. What's next is an expensive lobbyist job and an eventual furiously hyped, tell-nothing book tour.
I've also read that Obama is trying to get Ruth Bader Ginsberg off the Supreme Court and Eric Holder on. Since Obama has some reason to believe that Republicans will gain enough seats to take control of the Senate, he can only replace Ginsberg with Holder by acting before January 2015. Ginsberg's apparently fighting her removal, but I suspect, if this theory has any weight, that she'll be made to obey. The fact that Eric Holder has enough baggage to fill a 747 will be irrelevant. Reid's Senate will do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations and vote him in.
Holder will then become the most corrupt, partisan, administration foot soldier ever to sit on the Supreme Court. Ordinary Americans, even some Democrats, will be disgusted by the process and the Supreme Court will be yet another branch of the government that becomes corrupt and declines, both in fact and in perception, on the Obama watch.
The Right Planet : I can only speculate as to why Eric Holder decided to step down now. But I do find it interesting a federal judge recently ordered the DoJ to provide Congress with documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal. On the other hand, six years is a fairly long stint as head of the Justice Department. So, who knows.
Holder said at the White House, "I think I go out having accomplished a great deal in the areas that are of importance to me. I'm satisfied with the work we have done."
Huh. It's "nice" to know Holder has been working on things that are important to him during his time at the Department of Justice.
Attorney General Eric Holder has provided a firewall for Barack Obama, deflecting any serious congressional inquiries into alleged wrongdoing by the administration. Holder has also been eager to implement Obama's version of "social justice" at the Justice Department as well. The question now becomes, who will replace Holder? Will it be worse? There's a lot of names going around as possible replacements--Janet Napolitano, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the prosecutor who prosecuted Dinesh D'Souza, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, among others.
Well there you have it!
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