Attorney General William Barr to Use Eric Holder Defense to Stymie Democrats in Congress

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder (Credit: Associated Press)
President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder (Credit: Associated Press)

As Attorney General William P. Barr works to fend off an aggressive Congress demanding more information, he has turned to a surprising source for justification: former Obama official Eric H. Holder Jr., who seven years ago found himself in much the same position.

Mr. Holder’s justification for thwarting the House — then under Republican control — was the first piece of evidence Mr. Barr used last week in his letter letting House Democrats know he would not meet their deadline for complying with a subpoena.

At issue is the unredacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the 2016 election.

Democrats want both the report and reams of supporting evidence Mr. Mueller compiled during his 22 months of investigation. Mr. Barr says he is willing to negotiate but that some of the information — the parts Mr. Mueller gleaned from a grand jury — are shielded by law and can’t be turned over without breaking that law.

“The department must ensure that it may continue to conduct law enforcement investigations free of outside interference, particularly in high-profile cases that receive intense public scrutiny,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler last week citing Mr. Holder. “To that end, the department has long resisted congressional attempts to rummage through its investigative files.”

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SOURCE: Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times