Last week, President Trump nominated William Barr to replace the acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker. The choice of Whitaker, you might recall, was universally derided by Democrats for his past opinions on the Mueller investigation, resulting in all sort of conspiracy theories about whether he’d undermine the investigation somehow. Almost immediately they wanted Whitaker to recuse himself from anything connected to the Mueller investigation.
Like a broken record, Democrats are saying Barr, if confirmed as attorney general, should also recuse himself. As Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal put it, “How good of a nominee is William Barr for AG? Based on the immediate demands by Democrats that he recuse himself from pretty much everything important—a pretty darn good one.”
Barr, like many people who have been paying attention, has noted the obvious politicization of the Mueller investigation, and Democrats are “concerned” that he’ll be under pressure from the White House to do Trump’s bidding. These are the same Democrats who voted unanimously to confirm Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch—both of whom were radical leftists who had no business being the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Barr, on the other hand, has a distinguished record, having previously served as attorney general under George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993.
Attorney General Eric Holder’s radical past ought to have disqualified him from being the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. As a college student at Columbia University in 1970, Holder was the leader of a black separatist group on campus, the Student Afro-American Society (SAAS), which participated in a five-day armed takeover of an abandoned ROTC office on campus.
From the beginning of his tenure at the Department of Justice, Holder’s radical racial politics influenced his actions when he chose not to prosecute the New Black Panther Party over their voter intimidation during the 2008 election. He inappropriately involved himself in the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shooting death cases, and repeatedly stonewalled various investigations into Obama administration corruption, including the investigation of Fast and Furious (which got him held in contempt of Congress), the IRS scandal, the Sestak job offer scandal, the Benghazi investigation, etc., etc. In fact, the stonewalling by the Obama/Holder Justice Department was so bad that in August of 2014, 47 of 73 inspectors general wrote an open letter to Congress accusing the Obama administration of unprecedented obstruction for not allowing them full access to the information they needed to conduct their investigations.
Holder was also responsible for the massive slush fund scandal that plagued the Justice Department. When the Obama/Holder Department of Justice negotiated billion-dollar settlements with big banks for predatory lending that led to the 2008 financial crisis, they made it possible for big banks to reduce their penalties by donating to left-wing groups approved by the Obama administration at the expense of actual victims of predatory lending. Despite his tenure being marred by partisan actions, controversy, and scandal, Holder was one of the longest-serving members of Obama’s original cabinet.
To replace Eric Holder, rather than pick an independent individual who valued justice over unwavering loyalty to Obama and his partisan objectives, Obama turned to far-left radicals like Al Sharpton for advice on Holder’s successor. Obama ultimately chose Loretta Lynch for the position.
As U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch allowed HSBC to avoid prosecution for their massive money laundering for drug cartels and state sponsors of terrorism—a fact she conveniently omitted from her Senate questionnaire. Like Holder, Lynch’s racialist views on justice should have disqualified her instantly. She had once claimed that reasonable voter ID laws are racist and pledged to continue lawsuits against them. Lynch was also on record having claimed school discipline has a racist, disparate impact on minority children. Lynch believed that “tough on crime” is just a dog whistle for “tough on minorities.” As attorney general, Lynch considered federal prosecution for citizens denying man-made climate change.
Without a doubt, Attorneys General Holder and Lynch were hardcore left-wing radicals, chosen by Obama for their extreme partisanship and loyalty. Under their tenures, the Department of Justice became a partisan mess. Holder and Lynch didn’t just protect Obama from being held accountable for various scandals that plagued his presidency, but they also protected Obama’s allies and powerful Democrats. In 2014, Holder quashed an investigation into then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. In 2016, Loretta Lynch blocked an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation and, of course, played a crucial role in protecting Hillary Clinton during her email scandal.
At the end of the day, it took President Trump to start the process of rebuilding public trust in the Department of Justice. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was critical in undoing many of the partisan actions of Holder and Lynch. William Barr, with his distinguished record, will certainly continue the job of cleaning up the mess left by Obama’s attorneys general.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis