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Eric Holder’s Legacy

by Gregg Jarrett     •     Fox News

HolderEric Holder is now the former attorney general of the United States. Which invites the question: what will his legacy be as America’s top law enforcement officer?

I suspect history will find our eighty-second attorney general more reviled than revered.

When he looked in the mirror, Holder seemed to see the visage of Bobby Kennedy –a champion of civil rights. His detractors, and there were many, saw someone who more closely resembled John Mitchell, Nixon’s political hatchet man who, as attorney general, did his boss’s bidding, covered it up and went to prison.

Holder consistently refused, despite strong evidence, to pursue criminal charges against any of the prominent bankers involved in the subprime mortgage crisis which devastated the American economy. He seemed to embrace a “too big to jail” attitude by suggesting in a Senate hearing that some people should be above the law if their prosecution might negatively impact the economy.

Even though the Supreme Court upheld school vouchers as constitutional, Holder sued to block Louisiana’s private-school voucher program designed to help impoverished minority families escape bad schools.

He also ignored Supreme Court rulings on voter identification laws, challenging them as discriminatory despite strong evidence to the contrary.

Holder presided over President Obama’s grand plan to close the prison housing captured terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Just as admitted terrorists Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants were about to plead guilty, Holder halted the proceedings and announced they would be transferred to the U.S. and prosecuted in federal court. Congress and the American public balked, forcing Holder to reverse himself. The men have yet to be tried, thanks to Holder.

But the former attorney general’s worst act of malfeasance was his refusal to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service for its targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Instead, he selected an Obama and Democratic donor to lead the Justice Department’s probe. Not surprisingly, it has gone nowhere.

Holder sank to an all-time low when he decided to spy on American journalists who were simply doing their jobs. Under the guise of national security, he allowed prosecutors to seize telephone and email records of reporters, including Fox News’ own James Rosen, in an overzealous search for leaks and leakers. It was a shameful act that disgraced his high office.

On matters of race, Holder chose to grandstand and demagogue more often than not. In the Trayvon Martin case, there was never any evidence that the tragic confrontation had anything to do with race. That did not stop Holder from pursuing a civil rights investigation, even after the FBI concluded “there is no evidence the shooting was driven by racial bias or animus.”

Perhaps the most egregious of Holder’s actions was his handling of the “Fast and Furious” scandal in which federal agents secretly facilitated the delivery of thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels. While testifying before Congress, Holder initially misrepresented the facts, then tried to cover them up, and eventually refused to divulge documents subpoenaed by the House of Representatives. For this, he earned the distinction of being the only attorney general ever held in contempt of Congress.

During his 6 years at the Justice Department, Eric Holder’s real contempt was for the rule of law. And that is his sad legacy. All too often, he placed politics above law and purpose.

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News Anchor and former defense attorney.