Eric Holder, the Attorney General has made the record of being the first current attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress, even though attacking resident attorney generals may be common practise in Washington. After all, even Abraham Lincoln was faced Congressional enquiry, as Politico reports.
The attorney general has long been the congressional punching bag. More than any other presidential appointee, this role can be a presidential surrogate — representing a president’s views and policies, including controversial positions that an administration may have to defend in court.
The contempt vote was less about what Holder did related to the Justice Department’s bungled gun-running sting and more about President Barack Obama’s policies.
The attorney general has a unique role at the critical nexus between two branches of government — the executive, which the attorney general is officially part of, and the judiciary, in which he regularly operates. His role connects the policies that the administration wants defended and the politics behind them. You can see why one historian described this job as “schizophrenic.”
As first conceived, the position was far less powerful. But that changed as the position gained responsibility — including with the creation of a Department of Justice — and as 20th-century presidents often named someone close to them, not just politically, but personally, to this job.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78519.html#ixzz20lKq4v4J