Eric Holder: I Expected More From Bill Barr, Mueller Report Was "Clearly A Referral" For Impeachment Inquiry

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Former Attorney General Eric Holder told CNN's "Cuomo Primetime" Monday evening that the Mueller report is "clearly a referral" for Congress to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump and that he "expected more" from Attorney General ill Barr.

"I assured people when he was nominated that he was an institutionalist and that he would be a person who would follow the law, follow the norms that have governed the way in which Attorneys General have always conducted themselves. And I have to say I've been sorely disappointed," Holder said of Barr. "I think that he has protected the President. I think he has mischaracterized the Mueller report. He is not cooperating with Congress in a way that he clearly should."





CNN host Chris Cuomo followed up by pointing out that Republicans said the same thing about Holder when he worked in the Obama administration. Holder disagreed, saying: "We were fighting for a principle, the question of making sure that deliberations could occur within the Executive branch out of the sight of the Legislative branch. But the total way in which Barr and other members of the Trump administration have refused to turn over documents, refused to testify, it is inconsistent with the duties that they have as Members of the Cabinet."

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Do you believe that starting an impeachment inquiry or impeachment proceedings would be justified on what you understand the facts to be? Would that be fair to the President of the United States?

ERIC HOLDER: I think it would be fair on the basis of the Mueller report.

It seems to me that was clearly a referral from Bob Mueller to Congress for Congress to use its Constitutional powers and, I think actually, do its Constitutional duty, to examine that report, and make a determination about whether or not the President should be impeached.

Now, I look at that obstruct -- obstruction section of -- of the report, and it seems to me that there are at least six out of those 10 specifications of obstruction that serve -- would serve as a basis to impeach President Trump.

CUOMO: What do you think about process? Do you think it's just keep going along this way in terms of what they're doing?

Yes, they're fighting with the A.G. right now. You're no stranger to that game. But they're fighting with him. Should they keep it this way, or do you believe that impeachment is the right route, or do you agree with Nancy Pelosi that it's the wrong route?

HOLDER: I -- I think in the short-term, I would keep going in the way that they are, have really significant oversight.

I'd speed up the process though, you know, let -- let -- let's send out those subpoenas, let's get those response times cut those down, and speed up the process, so that we form up what is to -- to happen.

And if we don't get responses from people in the cabinet, if there is, in fact, stonewalling by the Trump administration, then I think you have to move to an impeachment inquiry.

CUOMO: But that's where you are. I'm not saying that -- I'm not calling for anything. But that's where you are. They sent out the subpoenas. The A.G. and the other interested parties say "No," so they go to court, they get a couple of quick rulings.

I was surprised at how fast the rulings was. Cost me a couple of drinks. But now they will appeal those rulings, so it's not over yet. If they were to go impeachment inquiry, do the judges accelerate the process, because there are no additional powers under impeachment than regular oversight?

HOLDER: Well, actually, Congress in using its impeachment authority is actually at its height when it comes to the power that the House of Representatives has.

And I -- I think if you went to an impeachment inquiry, you would probably see the Judicial branch a little more responsive than perhaps it would be in -- in pure oversight.

But I will say that judges have been moving pretty -- pretty quickly. I think that we want to move as quickly as we can, establish the facts as soon as we can, and then make a determination about whether or not the President should be impeached.

And I don't really think that political considerations should be a part of that -- that determination.

CUOMO: Do you think that the current Attorney General has followed that last comment that you just made there that political consideration should not be part of the administration of justice?

HOLDER: Well I -- I got to tell you that I expected a lot more from Bill Barr.

I assured people when he was nominated that he was an institutionalist, and that he would be a person who would follow the law, follow the norms that have governed the way in which Attorneys General have always conducted themselves. And I have to say I've been sorely disappointed.

I think that he has protected the President. I think he has mischaracterized the Mueller report. He is not cooperating with Congress in a way that he clearly should. I said in a tweet that I don't think on the basis of his performance that he is fit to be Attorney General of the United States.

CUOMO: People hit you with the same stick A.G., as you know. They say, "Well, Holder was Obama's wingman. And what about the Fast and the Furious, and he fought all those subpoenas too? They just settled the case like two weeks ago for some -- for some of that litigation." What did you do, as A.G. to President Obama, that you believe is better than what we're seeing now?

HOLDER: Well when it comes to Fast and Furious, the thing for which I was held in contempt, and I would say, inappropriately held in contempt, we turned over 7,000 documents.

I testified 10 times before the Senate and before the House, talking about Fast and Furious, and we made available all of the witnesses that Congress wanted to hear from, from within the Justice Department.

The only things that we held back were deliberative materials and materials that talked about how we were going to respond to Congress, not with regard to the substance.

All those documents were ultimately released by Attorney General Sessions. And guess what? There was nothing in there of any significance that we were -- were holding back.

We were fighting for a principle, the question of making sure that deliberations could occur within the Executive branch out of the sight of the Legislative branch.

But the total way in which Barr and other members of the Trump administration have refused to turn over documents, refused to testify, it is inconsistent with the duties that they have as Members of the Cabinet.

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