When Congress voted Thursday to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, he became yet another attorney general entangled in a distracting crisis that is threatening his leadership, the New York Times reports.
The U.S. House threatened to hold the last Republican attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, in contempt for withholding Justice Department documents.
His predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, resigned under pressure after the mass firings of federal prosecutors. Before him, Attorney General John Ashcroft came under fire on accusations that he dismissed terrorism warnings prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Times reported.
Rewind to Janet Reno, the attorney general who served under President Bill Clinton. She caught heavy criticism for refusing to appoint a special prosecutor to probe Democratic fundraising and was threatened with contempt by the Republican-led House oversight committee.
“It’s hard to think of a recent attorney general who’s had smooth sailing,” Dan Marcus, a law professor at American University who served as a senior Justice Department official during Ms. Reno’s battles, told the New York Times.