Eric Holder Says He and Obama Have Been Victims of ‘Unprecedented, Unwarranted, Ugly and Divisive Adversity’

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2014, before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2015 for the Justice Department. Holder said the government needs to deal differently with the heroin epidemic than it did with the crack cocaine crisis decades ago. Holder told the subcommittee that a "balanced approach" involving treatment, education and enforcement is needed to confront the country's heroin crisis and avoid mistakes made during the widespread use of crack. Police at that time focused on large-scale arrests and imprisonment. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2014. (AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that he and President Barack Obama have been the victims of “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity” from critics.

Speaking at the National Action Network’s annual convention in New York, Holder said the last five years have been “defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity.”

“If you don’t believe that,” Holder continued as the crowd applauded. “Forget about me — you look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee. Had nothing to do with me — what attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

The National Action Network was founded by Rev. Al Sharpton.

Holder was referring to a heated exchange with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) that took place Tuesday when the attorney general was testifying before a House panel and Gohmert accused the Department of Justice of not providing adequate documents.

“I think what we promised to do is to provide you and your staff with —” Holder said.

“Sir, I’ve read you what your department promised and it is inadequate, and I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight,” Gohmert said.

“You don’t want to go there, OK buddy?” a visibly annoyed Holder said.

“I don’t want to go there? About the contempt?” Gohmert asked.

“You should not assume that is not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate, I think it was unjust. But never think that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that,” Holder said.

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