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Dems Backing Away From Holder

- June 13, 2013

DEMOCRATS ARE LOSING CONFIDENCE IN ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Has Suggested Holder Should Think About Resigning

"Manchin, 65, Also Indicated That Attorney General Eric Holder, Who Has Been Criticized For Targeting News Organizations, Among Other Issues, Should Consider Resigning." (John D. Salant, "Manchin Seeks To End Widespread Anti-Terror Surveillance," Bloomberg, 6/8/13)

  • Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV): "We're At A Time Now Where Decisions Have To Be Made." "'Whenever you feel that you have lost your effectiveness or may be losing your effectiveness to the detriment of the job that you do,' he said about Holder, 'you have to evaluate that and make a decision. And I think we're at the time now where decisions have to be made.'" (John D. Salant, "Manchin Seeks To End Widespread Anti-Terror Surveillance," Bloomberg, 6/8/13)
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Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) Said His Confidence In Holder Is "Waning"

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) Says His Confidence In Holder Is "Waning." "Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), who voted to place Holder in contempt, said he has 'a lot of unanswered questions' about the DOJ's leak investigation and is pressing for an outside investigation - an inspector general or special counsel probe - to look at whether the department and Holder are striking the right balance between constitutional protections of the press and national security concerns. 'It's waning,' said Rahall of his confidence in Holder. (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) Has "Serious Questions" For Holder

"Sen. Mark Begich's (D-AK) Office Said The Freshman Isn't Ready To Ask Holder To Step Down, But That He Does Have Serious Questions About The Department Of Justice's Conduct In The Leak Investigations." (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

DEMOCRATS UP IN 2014 ARE IN A "TRICKY SPOT"

"Democrats Facing Tough Reelection Races Next Year Are Ducking Questions On Whether They Support Beleaguered Attorney General Eric Holder." (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

  • The Scandals Surrounding Holder Have Put "Vulnerable Democrats In A Tricky Spot." "The question of whether he should stay or go has put vulnerable Democrats in a tricky spot. They are unwilling to call for the resignation of a sitting attorney general in a Democratic administration. But with conservative-leaning voters in their districts, they don't want to be seen defending him." (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) Asked Reporters To "Wait" For His Comments On Holder

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) Has Avoided Questions On Holder. "Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), approached outside his office in the Rayburn Building, said he instead had to finish a House Armed Services Committee markup of a bill, go to votes 'and return a constituent phone call.'" (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

  • McIntyre: "Let Me Just Wait On A Comment Right Now." "Let me just wait on a comment for right now because I need to take care of some stuff, OK? I've got my mind on something else right now," he said. (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13) 
  • " Approached Again Less Than A Week Later While Walking From A Series Of House Votes Back To His Office, McIntyre Would Only Say, 'No Comment." (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) Doesn't "Want To Talk About This Right Now"

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) Has Ducked Reporters' Questions About Holder. "Asked if he has confidence in Holder, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) said, 'I don't think I want to talk about this right now,' while walking from his office with an aide to a bank of elevators." (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

  • "Pressed Further, The Staffer Intervened, Saying, 'Now's Really Not A Very Good Time.'" (Jordy Yader, "Dems Keep Holder At Arm's Length," The Hill, 6/13/13)

EVEN SOME DEMOCRATS WITHIN THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE ARE HOPING HOLDER WILL STEP ASIDE

NBC's Chuck Todd: White House Advisers Call Attorney General Holder Unprepared, A Bad Manager And Not Well Informed. MSNBC's JOE SCARBOROUGH: "Chuck Todd, what is the White House going to do? When you have The New York Times talking about the criminalization of reporting, something that you said a couple of weeks ago, that's a problem for a democratic administration. How do they move forward? TODD: "Well it is. And this issue with Eric Holder, this has been a divide in the White House for frankly more than a year. There have been a lot of, I would call it, the political advisers, the splits been between the political advisers and the President on this one. A lot of the political advisers would have liked to have seen Eric Holder decide, you know what, he didn't want to serve in a second term. That he would go on his own time." SCARBOROUGH: "Why do they want him out earlier?" TODD: "Because they feel that he doesn't use a lot of political sense when managing the building or some would argue he doesn't manage the building. By 'the building,' I'm referring to the Justice Department. That there is always this issue of -- that he just seems to be surprised by what's going on, or not well informed enough, or if he well informed enough, not very articulate about how to deal with it internally than how to deal with it on capitol hill, that he doesn't get prepared when he goes to capitol hill." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 6/2/13)

The Washington Post's David Ignatius: Department Of Justice Insiders Say Holder Has Been A Bad Attorney General. IGNATIUS: "People who deal with the Department every day say he has consistently been a weak manager, and this is an example of that. The judgment that should have been brought to bear before you subpoena 20 phones from The Associated Press surely you know you're going to get a firestorm response. You call up The Associated Press, and you talk to them about it. The notion that you're going to sort of slip it through, which they act as if they thought, was wrong. So I do think that the larger question about Eric Holder is has he been a good Attorney General? And I hear an awful lot of very knowledgeable lawyers say no, he hasn't." (CBS' "Face The Nation," 6/2/13)

Holder Considered Stepping Down As Attorney General At The End Of Last Year . "At the end of last year, with the election decided and the Obama administration in office for four more years, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. considered stepping down. He decided against it, in part because before he left he wanted to move beyond the disputes that had characterized his tenure, accomplish some of the goals he had set for the job and leave on his own terms. If Mr. Holder really thought he could escape controversy, the last few weeks have reinforced how inescapable controversy has become for the nation's chief law enforcement officer. A furor over tactics in leak investigations, including secretly obtaining phone logs for reporters at The Associated Press and Fox News, has again engulfed the attorney general in allegations, investigations and calls for resignation."(Peter Baker, Charlie Savage, and Jonathan Weisman, "Seeking A Fresh Start, Holder Finds A Fresh Set Of Troubles," The New York Times, 6/2/13)

  • "Some In The West Wing Privately Tell Associates They Wish He Would Step Down, Viewing Him As Politically Maladroit." "Over the course of four and a half years, no other member of President Obama's cabinet has been at the center of so many polarizing episodes or the target of so much criticism. While the White House publicly backed Mr. Holder as he tried to smooth over the latest uproar amid new speculation about his future, some in the West Wing privately tell associates they wish he would step down, viewing him as politically maladroit. But the latest attacks may stiffen the administration's resistance in the near term to a change for fear of emboldening critics." (Peter Baker, Charlie Savage, and Jonathan Weisman, "Seeking A Fresh Start, Holder Finds A Fresh Set Of Troubles," The New York Times, 6/2/13)
  • "Some Advisers To Mr. Obama Believe That Mr. Holder Does Not Manage Or Foresee Problems, The Former Official Said. 'How Hard Would It Be To Anticipate That The A.P. Would Be Unhappy?' The Former Official Said. 'And Then They Haven't Defended Their Position.'" (Peter Baker, Charlie Savage, and Jonathan Weisman, "Seeking A Fresh Start, Holder Finds A Fresh Set Of Troubles," The New York Times, 6/2/13)
  • Democratic Former Government Official: "The White House Is Apoplectic About Him, And Has Been For A Long Time." "But that does not mitigate the frustration of some presidential aides. 'The White House is apoplectic about him, and has been for a long time,' said a Democratic former government official who did not want to be identified while talking about friends." (Peter Baker, Charlie Savage, and Jonathan Weisman, "Seeking A Fresh Start, Holder Finds A Fresh Set Of Troubles," The New York Times, 6/2/13)

NBC's Tom Brokaw: "It's Tough To See" How Holder Stays As Attorney General. NBC's DAVID GREGORY: "Do you think -- you've seen these kinds of investigations before, meaning the judiciary investigation, committee investigation of the attorney general. This could be elongated. You have this morning on the New York Times government officials talking off the record or on background about his effectiveness. Does he stay in the job?" NBC's TOM BROKAW: "Boy, I think it's tough to see how he does at this case. It's up to the president. What we're seeing in the New York Times today is that familiar Washington two-step. Officially getting the endorsement of people like David Axelrod and the spokesman for the president, but at the same time, there's another part of that two-step that is going on in which people think it would be better if he left. It would be better for the president to get this cleaned up." (NBC's " Meet The Press," 6/2/13)


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