Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder addressed students at the University of Kentucky Tuesday. The top law enforcement official under former President Barack Obama weighed in on the current administration’s treatment of the department he once led.
The country’s first African-American attorney general reflected on free speech debates on campus, gerrymandering, and the nation’s posture toward immigrants – but it was in his assessment of President Donald Trump that Holder sounded most worried.
"To go after the department, to raise questions about the credibility, the motivations of people in the FBI is, I think, both factually incorrect and I think will have collateral long term negative impact on the functioning of those great institutions," he said.
While the Justice Department reports to the chief executive, Holder said there must be a wall between the two.
The former attorney general also suggested the electoral college system should end, calling it “in some ways a lack of faith in the judgment of the people.” Holder wrapped up his comments by quoting Abolitionist Unitarian Minister Theodore Parker’s famous statement that the “arc of the moral universe" is long, but it "bends toward justice,” adding, "That arc bends toward justice, but only when people like you put their hands on that arc and pull it."
Holder’s appearance was part of the UK College of Law’s Ray R. and Virginia F. Ray Lecture Series.