Former President Barack Obama’s first-term Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the jailing of political opponents in 2016, six years before the FBI conducted a raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.
“In the USA we do not threaten to jail political opponents,” Holder wrote on Twitter. “[Donald Trump said he would. He is promising to abuse the power of the office.”
The post was published on the evening of the second 2016 presidential debate, wherein Trump famously quipped in the televised townhall Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton would be in prison if he were president.
“You know, it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Clinton said.
“Because you’d be in jail,” Trump quickly responded, triggering an eruption of cheers in what is supposed to be a muted auditorium.
“We remind the audience to please not talk out loud, please do not applaud,” pled debate moderator Anderson Cooper.
At the time, Clinton faced scrutiny for mishandling classified information from her time as secretary of state. While Trump was president, however, he never criminally pursued his 2016 opponent who has flirted with a third presidential run ever since the election.
On Twitter, Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo highlighted the double standard.
“Executing a warrant against ex-[president of the United States] is dangerous. The apparent political weaponization of DOJ/FBI is shameful,” Pompeo wrote. “I served on Benghazi [Committee] where we proved Hillar possessed classified info. We didn’t raid her home.”
FBI agents ostensibly raided Trump’s Florida home at Mar-a-Lago Wednesday over potential violations of the Presidential Records Act. The 1978 law mandates all presidential records be preserved and maintained by the National Archives. Prosecutions under the 44-year-old law, however, are rare, and the FBI reportedly confiscated items such as napkins and dinner menus.
Prosecution of Trump, however, has been a top item on the Democrats’ policy agenda since his first presidential run in 2016. After two impeachments failed to secure a conviction, the FBI appears to be exploiting the Presidential Records Act as the agency’s latest effort to thwart Trump’s ambitions for a second term.
Neither the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or Senate Democrat Majority Leader Chuck Schumer immediately responded to The Federalist’s inquiries over whether they agree with Holder’s 2016 statement. Schumer twice declined to comment on the raid during an MSNBC interview Monday night.
Last week, Holder, who was the first sitting attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress over refusal to comply with an oversight investigation, began to preview a Trump indictment under the subtext of the Jan. 6 Committee. The Justice Department is conducting its own investigation of Jan. 6 running parallel to House proceedings on the Select panel.
“My guess is that by the end of this process, you’re going to see indictments involving high-level people in the White House,” Holder said on SiriusXM radio. “You’re going to see indictments against people outside the White House who were advising them with regard to the attempt to steal the election, and I think ultimately you’re probably going to see that the president, former president of the United States indicted as well.”