The Attorney General of the United States is the highest ranking federal government attorney in the nation. He’s an executive branch presidential cabinet level official who heads the Department of Justice.
If any attorney at law should be familiar with the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights it is certainly the Attorney General, who, just like every attorney in America, has sworn a solemn oath to preserve, protect, defend and uphold that supreme law of the land.
You might think that the head of Justice would observe justice. But if you thought that in the case of current Attorney General Eric Holder, and his Justice Department, you would be wrong. This man and his underlings display a nasty habit of trashing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as a matter of course.
The latest scandal in this regard is the disclosure by the Associated Press News Agency (AP) that the Justice Department, in an “unprecedented intrusion,” secretly and without a court warrant, seized two months worth of outgoing call telephone records for the work and personal phone numbers of AP reporters and various AP offices, altogether records of more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012.
This conduct on the part of “Justice” violates both the First Amendment, which supposedly guarantees freedom of the press, and the Fourth Amendment, which supposedly prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the government without a warrant and probable cause.
The telephone records included the main AP number in the House of Representatives press gallery, which has members of Congress and the Senate up in arms.
“The burden is always on the government when they go after private information -- especially information regarding the press or its confidential sources. I want to know more about this case, but on the face of it, I am concerned that the government may not have met that burden,” declared Democrat Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy.
"I am deeply concerned by numerous reports of misconduct by the [Obama] administration, from (whistle-blower) testimony regarding Benghazi to the Internal Revenue Service targeting groups based on political ideology and now the Department of Justice monitoring journalists with the Associated Press,” said House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy.
He should be concerned.
This administration, from the Department of Justice, Department of State, IRS and right on down the line, has proved to be a collection of liars, perjurers, criminals and serial violators of the Constitution – the same Constitution they all have sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend.
In a letter of protest sent to Holder, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation.
"There can be no possible justification for such an over-broad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the news gathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's news gathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know," Pruitt said.
Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole responded to Pruitt in a letter attempting to justify the seizures by claiming the Department was conducting a criminal investigation into government employee unauthorized disclosures of classified information to certain AP reporters, and therefore what it did was necessary.
Clearly however, if a crime was committed in this case, it was committed by a governmental employee disclosing classified information – not AP reporters who have the constitutional right to report the news.
Thus, there was no justification to seize AP telephone records in a situation where there existed no probable cause whatsoever to believe that anyone at AP committed a crime.
This egregious conduct on the part of the D.O.J. amounted to clear violations of AP and its individual reporters and editors First and Fourth Amendment constitutional rights.
Eric Holder and his underlings are the criminals here; they’re the ones who have perverted “Justice” should face justice.
But instead of taking responsibility and his rightful punishment as a man, Holder lashed out at House Republican Rep. Darrell Issa at a congressional hearing on Wednesday, characterizing the congressman’s questioning of his Departments conduct as "shameful," after Issa accused him of purposely and repeatedly keeping information from Congress.
This came after Holder repeatedly rebuffed all pertinent questions by claiming he wasn’t involved in the decision-making process. He maintained that he had nothing to do with it and had no explanation for it. He claimed that he had recused himself from the case because "I am a possessor of information eventually leaked."
Now, that’s a neat trick.
If a government official doesn’t feel like answering questions under oath about violations of the constitution and his oath of office, just recuse himself from the problem.
He also said he was unable to answer any questions on why the department he oversees failed to negotiate with the AP prior to obtaining subpoenas -- something which is standard practice in these cases.
Then Holder testified that all the decisions made in the case fell on Deputy Attorney General James Cole’s shoulders.
But Cole would be prohibited from discussing any ongoing case so his testimony would be the same as Holder’s – worthless; another neat trick.
"There doesn't appear to be any acceptance of responsibility for things that have gone wrong," said congressman Sensenbrenner in the classic understatement of the century.
The top United States administrator of Justice says he knows nothing while the Bill of Rights is trashed by his “Justice.”