Attorney General Eric Holder made history in June when Congress voted to find him in contempt, the first sitting cabinet member to ever find himself in such a position.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the Attorney General pined for the older days in Washington when things were less extreme, he said.
Holder said some of his work, most recently on combatting potentially discriminatory voter identification laws, has put him “in confrontation with certain people, certain factions.” Holder has faced serious criticism from some on Capitol Hill, including calls for his resignation from a number of GOP lawmakers. Holder says it comes with the territory.
“I think that the department, because it is at the crossroads of law enforcement and policy, and social issues as well, it finds itself at the middle of a lot of political controversies,” he said.
Holder, shifting gears, also called the decision to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military court a “missed opportunity.” The Attorney General had pushed for the detainees to be tried in civilian federal court in New York City, but that plan was abandoned by the administration after a political furor erupted.
“A lot of what we heard in opposition to trying to conduct those trials in New York City has proven or would have proven to be incorrect. We would not have closed down lower Manhattan. The trials would have been done by now. We would not have spent $200 million a year. Justice would have been served, and there would have been a credibility, an international credibility brought to the resolution of those matters by trying them in the civilian court system that has proven so effective at trying terrorists. I mean, we have tried—and the Bush administration, as well—hundreds of people in the civilian court system, those people charged with terrorist offenses—and have successfully prosecuted them and done so in a way that has held out our court system as the best in the world.”