Who had the worst week in Washington? Attorney General Eric Holder.
By Chris Cillizza,
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. spent the week in the Washington hot seat — and there’s little evidence that his perch is going to get cooler anytime soon.
Holder appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to answer for a number of recent national security leaks.
At issue? The fact that Holder has refused to appoint a special counsel to look into the leaking of sensitive information to reporters, instead putting two U.S. attorneys in charge of the investigation. “There are clearly people around the president leaking stories that involve highly classified information” that paints the president in a positive light, accused Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.).
Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), who, not for nothing, is the head of the Senate Republican campaign arm, took the Holder critique to another level: “It’s more with sorrow than anger that I would say you leave me with no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office,” Cornyn said. (Is there a better political phrase than “more with sorrow than anger”? I don’t think so.)
The attorney general resisted Cornyn’s call for him to step aside. But the next few weeks could test even someone with Holder’s thick political skin. Republicans are ginned up over his handling of the Fast and Furious gun-smuggling investigation, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has threatened him with a contempt vote if he doesn’t turn over more documents related to the inquiry. (Attempting to hold off, Holder offered Issa an olive branch in the form of promises about document disclosure late Thursday.)
Eric Holder, for trying not to sweat while the heat rises all around you, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org.