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

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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.”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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