Donald Trump Compared Impeachment to a Lynching. Eric Holder Explains Why It’s “Reprehensible.”

“This is an administration unlike any other,” the former attorney general said in conversation with Mother Jones.

Nate Palmer

The day after President Donald Trump ignited backlash by comparing his impeachment inquiry to a lynching, former Attorney General Eric Holder called the comment “reprehensible.”

“You think about thousands of people who were lynched in this nation. To compare that to a constitutionally mandated, or constitutionally authorized, process that’s underway in our Congress was reprehensible,” said Holder, who became the first African American attorney general when he was appointed by Barack Obama. “That’s reflective of who this man is and why he’s got to get his ass beaten in 2020.”

During an exclusive interview with Mother Jones voting rights reporter Ari Berman, Holder expressed his disappointment with the conduct of the current administration. When asked whether impeaching Trump is warranted, Holder quipped, “You gonna ask me a hard question?” before adding that any novice prosecutor would have indicted Trump for obstruction of justice based on the Mueller report alone.

And, while acknowledging the tricky optics of criticizing one’s successor, Holder concluded that acting Attorney General William Barr—who is now managing a criminal inquiry into the Justice Department’s own Russia investigation—was “unfit for the job.” Holder said that Barr thinks of himself as Trump’s lawyer rather than the lawyer for the people of the United States, and that he holds him in even lower esteem than Trump’s previous attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

“This is an administration unlike any other,” he said. “I have been in this town since 1976, served under Republican as well as Democratic presidents in various jobs that I’ve had in the Justice Department, and I’ve never, ever seen anything like we are in the process of experiencing.”

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.