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Eric Holder Says He’s Only Had a ‘Single Failure’ as Attorney General

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JENNIFER VAN LAAR, IJReview

Eric Holder sat down with MSNBC‘s Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday for a retrospective chat about his time as Attorney General.

“In 2011 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s swearing-in as attorney general, perhaps my most famous predecessor….That’s oftentimes thought of as the golden age for the Justice Department, the civil rights, organized crime, variety of issues that they dealt with.

“Well I think, modestly, 50 years from now people will look back at this Justice Department and say that was another golden age. That they dealt with a whole range of national security issues, civil rights issues. They pushed when it came to LGBT equality, they held people accountable when it came to financial things. They kept the nation safe in a way that was consistent with our values.”

That glowing description of Holder’s tenure, critics say, leaves out a few details. The Department is still involved in Congressional oversight hearings regarding the Fast and Furious scandal (and Holder’s role in allegedly misleading investigators), has spied on journalists who wrote unfavorably about the administration, and is under fire for not holding the IRSaccountable for targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status.

In addition, the Department is not prosecuting Veterans Administration employees referred for criminal prosecution over manipulating wait times.

Holder does admit to one failure as Attorney General. When asked about the day of the Sandy Hook shooting, he replied:

“It was the worst day I had as Attorney General. It is, I think, the single failure that I point to in my time as Attorney General, that I was not able to…convince Congress to really follow the will of the American people, which is to enact meaningful, reasonable gun safety measures. The gun lobby simply won, you know.”

When Holder submitted his resignation last fall, he agreed to stay on until a replacement could be confirmed. President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch for the post, but several prominent Republican senators have vowed to block her nomination.

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