Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderArkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats Oregon legislature on the brink as Democrats push gerrymandered maps Christie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group MORE on Monday praised the conservative Koch Brothers for donating money to a group helping to defend indigent clients.
“There’s a justice gap,” Holder said in an interview with the Marshall Project, which covers criminal justice news. “And to hear that the Koch brothers would be contributing money in that way is something that I think should be applauded.”
Holder said that he was “not aware” before the interview of the Koch donation to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
"That’s a good thing to hear,” he said, “people from very different places along the ideological spectrum understanding that we have to make our criminal justice system more fair.”
The Koch brothers are billionaire industrialists who have donated extensively to many conservative groups and to oppose President Obama and Democrats.
In the interview, Holder was also critical of privately-run immigration centers, even though the administration continues to use such facilities to house detainees.
Many of the companies have faced questions over their treatment of detainees and critics say they prioritize profits over the well-being of those in their care.
“This is another place where we are going to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, who are we as a nation? Are we prepared to devote governmental resources to that issue?,” Holder said.
“And that is quintessentially something for the government to do. There can be a place for the private sector to help in that regard, but I think government must lead in that area.”
The government is preparing to open what will eventually be the largest immigration detention facility in the country — for migrant families — which will be operated by a private company. Advocates say that guards have sexually abused women at other privately-operated family detention facilities.
Holder in September announced that he will step down as soon as a replacement is confirmed. The president has nominated Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as the new attorney general.