Trump's Justice Department Could Lead to 'Resignations, Investigations, Public Outcries,' Former AG Says

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"You can’t go at the AG that way if you truly understand the independent role that he should play within the administration,” former Attorney General Eric Holder said about Donald Trump's "berating" of Jeff Sessions. Reuters

Former Attorney General Eric Holder had a clear warning for Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions on Friday: "resignations, investigations, public outcries" could all soon occur if the wall separating the White House and the Justice Department continues to be lowered.

Holder said he was troubled by the president's "berating" of the current attorney general in an interview with MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, suggesting the infighting "portrays a lack of understanding on the part of the president about what the role of the attorney general has to be."

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Under former President Barack Obama, Holder said he was given clear guidelines about what topics were off limits in conversations between the Justice Department and the Oval Office. Those practices appear to have vanished under Trump, who has repeatedly publicly assaulted Sessions on social media for taking "weak" positions on his campaign vows, including imprisoning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if he were to win the presidency.

"Justice departments have gotten in trouble, attorneys general have gotten in trouble when they have forgotten the Justice Department really is different from other cabinet agencies … there has to be a wall between the Justice Department and the White House even though you're a part of the administration," Holder said Friday. "There have been statements that [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions has made, the interactions he's had with the White House that are inconsistent with the way in which I conducted myself as attorney general and frankly the way in which I think my predecessors—many of my predecessors—conducted themselves."

Trump has repeatedly called for the Justice Department to investigate the Clintons for debunked conspiracy theories, including Ukrainian Collusion with the former Democratic candidate's 2016 presidential campaign and her "Uranium One" scandal that she turned out to have very little to do with. Despite Fox News even asserting the latest Clinton developments were "inaccurate," Trump has criticized Sessions on Twitter for appearing absent in looking into each matter.

That would have never happened under Obama, according to the former attorney general.

"You can't go at the AG that way if you truly understand the independent role that he should play within the administration," Holder said Friday. "There are gonna be things that the attorney general is going to do that the president is not going to agree with, and a president has really just got to suck it up and say. 'the AG has the responsibility to enforce the laws, he's got national security responsibilities and he is an independent actor.'"

Trump's Justice Department Could Lead to 'Resignations, Investigations, Public Outcries,' Former AG Says | U.S.