Former Attorney General Eric
Holder. (Photo: DOJ)
(CNSNews.com) -- In the May 9 Department of Justice (DOJ) memo detailing the major reasons for recommending the removal of FBI Director James Comey, Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder is quoted as saying that Comey's actions concerning the Hillary Clinton email investigation "violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions," broke "fundamental principles" at DOJ, and undercut the "public trust" in the DOJ and the FBI.
Holder served as attorney general under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2015. He was deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. Holder is a long-time Democrat and known to be politically liberal.
In the May 9 memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein criticizes Comey's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails in July 2016, when Clinton was then running for president.
FBI Director James Comey, who was fired from his position by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.
Comey had held a press conference on July 5, where he explained the many national security failures made by Clinton and her team but also announced that he would not recommend a legal prosecution of Clinton. Comey's public statements, the presss conference, and related actions, said Rosenstein, "I cannot defend."
Rosenstein also wrote, "I do not understand his [Comey's] refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken."
In the letter, Rosenstein quotes several former deputy attorneys general and attorneys general critical of Comey's behavior. In addition to citing people who worked for Presidents Ford, Clinton, and Bush, Rosenstein quotes Holder.
He states, "Eric Holder, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton and Attorney General under President Obama, said that the Director's decision [on conclusion of Clinton investigation] "was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season."
"Holder concluded that the Director [Comey] 'broke with these fundamental principles' and 'negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI.'"
In addition, former DOJ officials Laurence Silberman, Jamie Gorelick, and Larry Thompson all concluded that FBI Director Comey "violated his obligation to 'preserve, protect, and defend' the traditions of the Department and the FBI," wrote Rosenstein in the memo.
(Screenshot: WBAL TV)