Two-dozen former top Justice Department officials who worked for Attorney Gen. Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors First redistricting lawsuits filed by Democratic group On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history MORE have leapt to the to nation’s top cop’s defense, answering fierce criticism outlined in a Washington Post column earlier this month.

“Our work…showed Mr. Holder to be a leader with excellent judgment and an unwavering commitment to do the right thing without regard for partisan preferences,” the lawyers wrote in a letter published in the newspaper Friday. “That is exactly what this nation should expect of an attorney general, and precisely what they have in Mr. Holder.”


Led by former acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler and former Assistant Attorney General David Kris,  the group also includes former assistant attorneys general and other officials who served in key agency roles.

The letter responds to a June 6 column bearing the headline, “Attorney General Eric Holder is not up to the task.”

In the piece, the Post’s David Ignatius takes aim the recently revealed Justice Department probes into media leaks. 

Holder stood by as “zealous prosecutors overrode” Justice’s rules for subpoenaing reporters, failed to keep records of his recusal from the case and appeared not to have anticipated the negative fallout that occurred when it was revealed that the agency had monitored journalists’ phone records, he wrote.

“The problem with Holder is the plain fact that, in the judgment of a wide range of legal colleagues, he has been a mediocre attorney general,” opined Ignatius.

The former Justice officials countered that Ignatius did not contact any of them in his reporting, and seethed at the suggestion that Holder’s actions were predicated by political considerations, rather than legal ones.

“People should express their disagreement with the attorney general’s decisions, but impugning his motivations only adds to the coarse tone that has plagued Washington for too long,” they wrote.

Holder has agreed to meet with House Republicans as part of their probe into whether he misled Congress or acted inappropriately in the leaks case, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.) said Friday. By doing so, he staved off the threat of a subpoena from Goodlatte for the second time in as many weeks.