Attorney General Eric Holder pushed back against Republicans who said the Justice Department, under his leadership, had become little more than a political machine to push liberal causes — and said that he’s actually cleaned up all the politicking that had taken place under the former Bush administration.
In a press conference that began with his personal introduction — “For the record, I am Eric Holder” — the exiting agency head took shots at critics who suggested that nominee Loretta Lynch was his mirror image, and those who said the Justice Department was too political.
“It’s a little irresponsible for people on the hill to say that policy differences that we have with them … can be characterized as political,” Mr. Holder said, Mediaite reported. “There’s been no politicization of this Justice Department.”
He then went on to say that those who further such claims are wrong — that their jabs are “totally inconsistent with the facts,” Mr. Holder said in an ABC News video.
Mr. Holder also said with a bit of an bitter tone that former President George W. Bush’s Justice Department was the one that was truly political — and that he had been forced to clean it up when he took over as attorney general.
“This notion that seems to permeate … that somehow this Justice Department has been politicized is totally inconsistent with the facts,” he said, an ABC News video showed. “You want to look at a Justice Department that’s been politicized, you look at the one I inherited. You look at the way in which hiring was done here for political reasons, you look at all the other things we had to deal with to rebuild.”
Mr. Holder then said he was proud of his work and would leave his post with his head held high.
“I will leave this department in the way I found it when I came here back in 1976 — with high moral, with people who are dedicated to doing things only on the basis of the facts and the law,” he said in the ABC News video. “I’m proud of the historic things we have done. I hope the American people would not fall prey to interesting sound bites that are simply not consistent with facts.”