Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund co-authored the book, “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” detailing the lawlessness of the Obama administration and of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. John Fund is a nationally recognized columnist for The National Review Online whose work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and Spakovsky is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.
The authors go into detail about Holder’s upbringing, how he was raised in New York City and was accepted into the best schools in the city. This insulated him, they posited, from the radical leanings that he professes today and are in some part, due to his wife Sharon Malone. A former colleague of Holder’s, Craig Donsanto, suggested that Malone “changed” Holder. A Newsweek reporter said she drew “a direct line from the sins of America’s racial past to the abuses of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.”
Yet, Holder’s past with the Clintons has been obscured by his service as U.S. Attorney General. Holder played a key role in obtaining a presidential pardon for Clinton fundraiser Marc Rich. Rich had been indicted in 1983 for tax evasion and selling oil to Iran during the Iran hostage crisis. But, his former wife Denise Rich helped the Clinton political machine, which led Bill Clinton to say, “We’ll never forget it.” Even Time magazine listed it as one of the “ten most notorious presidential pardons,” as the authors note.
Holder’s obsession with race has affected his judgment and turned the nonpartisan Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) into a political arm and operation of the Obama administration. It was considered, at one time, “one of the most prestigious offices to work for” within the Department of Justice (DOJ). However, Holder has used the OLC as “political cover” whenever the DOJ or the Obama White House conducts legal action on shaky legal grounds.
The OLC was involved in the National Labor Relations Board recess appointment disaster, where the DOJ lost a Supreme Court case, because there was no “plausible legal argument to support [the NLRB] appointments,” as the appeals judge Michael McConnell said. This new OLC, in addition to conducting raids on companies and lawsuits that had little legal standing, changed the DOJ’s reputation as an enforcer of the law to an enforcer of partisan policy. Spakovsky, an attorney himself, has served in the Justice Department as well.
One case, Gibson Guitars, resulted in two raids on Gibson properties and “a blaze of bad publicity and congressional inquiries.” Why? Because the second raid did not have a warrant, when Gibson provided documentation to the DOJ after the first raid. Also, the settlement agreement reached between the DOJ and Gibson showed that the “DOJ had no case at all.” One of Gibson’s primary competitors, C.F. Martin, had similar violations, but was never raided. The head of that company, Chris Martin, was a “longtime Democratic supporter, with [in] $35,400 contributions” to Democrats.
Holder has put the financial burden on American taxpayers with Big Green lawsuits, where “sue and settle” tactics mean that the government settles environmental lawsuits without contest in court. As a result, taxpayers foot the bill and compensation for damages and the settlement means new regulatory rules are put into place without congressional oversight. Senator David Ritter (R-LA) said of the “sue and settle” tactic, “’Big Green’ trial lawyers have raked in millions of dollars suing the government…we’re not even sure how bad the problem really is.”
Fund and Spakovsky cover all the scandals surrounding Holder and the DOJ, ranging from the Fast and Furious cover-up, the prosecution of Fox News reporter James Rosen, Voter ID lawsuits, spying on the Associated Press and the SEAL Team 6 leaks that may have led to their deaths at the hands of the Taliban.
Regarding same-sex marriage, Holder decided that he had the “kind of tyrannical authority that royal governors thought they had in the American colonies prior to the Revolution” by superseding traditional state marriage laws with federal powers. Even the chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, David Sanger, said that the Obama administration “is the most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”