Attorney General Eric Holder has a short memory when he accuses Republican lawmakers of hitting him and President Barack Obama with "unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly, and divisive" attacks, says Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush.
"Their memories are so short. They're the ones who did it to George Bush and Attorney General Al Gonzales," Fleischer told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Remember back then when the Democrats were making the case that these people in the Bush administration were war criminals and needed to be arrested? Do you remember the posters they made of Al Gonzales?"
He was referring to Gonzales's controversial approval of warrantless surveillance and "enhanced" interrogation techniques of prisoners — which triggered a storm of criticism ending with his resignation.
On Wednesday, Holder — during a speech before the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in New York City — slammed the treatment he received while testifying before a House panel.
During that testimony, he got into a testy exchange with Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, over the Justice Department’s refusal to release documents in a terrorism case.
"I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight," Gohmert told Holder, referring to the House holding him in contempt two years ago for failing to turn over documents in the "Fast and Furious" firearms scandal.
"You don’t want to go there, buddy. You don’t want to go there, OK?" Holder replied.
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Fleischer told Malzberg on Thursday: "I'm sorry, for Attorney General Holder to talk in that kind of tone, that kind of language, when he and his team were the ones who did even worse to the team that proceeded them.
"No one should have any sympathy or even understand what the attorney general is saying.... You would hope that people, when they get into high elected office like that can lift people up instead of jumping directly into the pit with the worst partisans.
"Both parties have, but you don't want an attorney general to be playing that game and he does. It's why people have lost faith in government. They let people just roll their eyes when they hear what people in government are doing because they don't think they're in it for anybody other than themselves."
Fleischer is disturbed by attempts to brush off the IRS scandal in which the agency targeted tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status — an act former IRS official Lois Lerner was held in contempt for by Congress on Thursday for her refusal to testify about it.
"From the beginning this was acknowledged by the IRS as targeting conservatives, being wrong, and inappropriate. The president of the United States called it outrageous in a news conference," Fleischer said.
"What is so wrong about this is that the agency of the government is targeting one party. That's what the IRS was doing and then Lois Lerner is not cooperating....
"The Justice Department was starting [to look] into this … [and] Eric Holder, appointed an Obama donor to lead the investigation. You just have to have these investigations be 100 percent above board and not suggest to anybody the influence of politics. From the beginning, that has not happened here."
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