Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer accused embattled U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of being a political hack.
“I will tell you what I think explains this guy. He’s a political hack. And the reason that is so grating is because you have be a political hack in HEW (Department of Health, Education, and Welfare), in HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), or somewhere else,” insisted Krauthammer, appearing on “The O'Reilly Factor” on Tuesday. “The Justice Department is a really important job.”
Host Bill O'Reilly acknowledged “there is something wrong here” with regard to Holder’s decision to sue Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona for racial profiling, while Holder himself refuses to tell Congress what the Justice Department knows about the botched “Operation Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.
“Also, reports are the FBI may charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime for killing Trayvon Martin, but when the Factor called the attorney general last week asking if he would investigate biased-crime allegations in Norfolk, Virginia — the mob violence case we reported on earlier — the Justice Department refused to get back to us,” added O’Reilly.
Holder previously served as a Superior Court judge in the District of Columbia, a United States attorney, and deputy attorney general of the United States. He served as a senior legal advisor to then-Sen. Barack Obama during Obama's presidential campaign and was one of three members of Obama's vice-presidential selection committee.
Pressure has been mounting for Holder to step down over the fatally flawed Fast and Furious scandal.
Calling Holder’s competence into question over the handling of confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Krauthammer dismissed the notion that corruption may have played a role in some of Holder’s decisions.
“I've got a pretty high threshold for corruption. I need either a smoking gun like the Nixon tapes or cold cash,” said Krauthammer.
“What about the fact that he won't turn over the documents to Congress and may be cited for contempt,” challenged O'Reilly. “Would that — if it happens, if he is cited for contempt ... would that be a high enough threshold?”
Krauthammer countered that of all the “things on his docket,” Holder’s refusal to cooperate with the congressional probe into Fast and Furious is not unprecedented. “Justice Departments, administrations, White Houses have — since the beginning of time — tried to withhold documents that Congress wants,” he explained. “It's an age-old struggle, and unless we can see something in the documents that we know is corrupt, we can only assume. So until we see that, I'm not going to assume corruption.”
The syndicated columnist nevertheless insisted that the attorney general’s post is no place for a political hack.
“You are the supreme law enforcement official in the country. You are entrusted with upholding the rule of law and the Constitution,” said Krauthammer, accusing Holder of being at the “beck and call of his political masters.”
He pointed to the Justice Department’s decision to challenge the voter ID law in Texas. “They know they are going to lose it,” Krauthammer explained. “There was similar Indiana law upheld in 2008, six to three in which the majority included the great liberal, John Paul Stevens. They are going to lose in Texas. Why is he doing it? To gin up the issue — the voter suppression issue, so-called — and to agitate the base — presumably minorities.”
Krauthammer also said that the Justice Department expects to lose on Arizona’s immigration law as well.
“They are going to lose that one, too. And they know it,” he declared. “The reason he brings it up — to gin up the Hispanic vote — to bring up the idea of Republicans as anti-immigrant. That's a hack. And if you're attorney general, you shouldn't be acting in that way. You should be acting for the nation.”
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