Holder on the ‘divisive adversity’ in Washington

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Eric Holder (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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United States Attorney General Eric Holder told an audience at a civil rights convention in Manhattan that he and President Barack Obama have faced opposition from Congress unlike any that confronted their predecessors.

“The last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms even in the face, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity," he told an audience at the headquarters of Al Sharpton's National Action Network. "If you don’t believe that, you look at the way, forget about me, forget about me, you look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee. Has nothing to do with me. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

Yesterday, Holder had a testy exchange with Judiciary Committee member Louis Goehmert, a Republican from Texas, who asked about the stalled “Fast and Furious” investigation, which led to a sanction against Holder two years ago.

Today, Holder touted the Justice Department’s work against state laws he said limited voter access to the ballot.

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Holder also praised his host, Sharpton, without making reference to Sharpton's recently revisited history as an F.B.I. informant.

Holder said, “The National Action Network stands, I think, as a driving force in our ongoing struggle to ensure every community and every person has the opportunity, as Dr. King once said, to apply their citizenship to the fullness of its meaning.”

Holder got a standing ovation from the mostly black crowd this morning.

Tomorrow, another crowd will focus its attention on Holder, as immigrant-rights activists protest the Obama administration, and the Justice Department in particular, for its deportation policies.