Loose Lips

From The Archives: Eric Holder Way Back When

In this week's column, LL looks at whether Attorney General Eric Holder's connections to District politicians now in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors presents any problems. While researching the story, LL found a gem from the archives: a 1997 critique of Holder's time at U.S. Attorney for the District from former Washington City Paper staffer Stephanie Mencimer.

The story is worth a read just for a look at some of the shenanigans that went on during Marion Barry's fourth term. But what really stood out to LL was this line from former D.C. Auditor Otis Troupe: "If you don't mind a little embarrassment in D.C., you can steal to your heart's content."

LL couldn't help but think of Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. when reading that line. The District's own attorney general, Irv Nathan, sued Thomas for allegedly steering a city money earmarked for "youth baseball" to a non-profit, public/private youth investment fund, then on to a group controlled by Thomas' friends, and then into Thomas-controlled bank accounts. Thomas allegedly spent the money on a new Audi SUV, golf trips to fancy clubs, and dinner at Hooters.

Rather than answer Nathan's accusations, Thomas agreed to pay the city back $300,000 with what could or could not be someone else's money. Meanwhile, after a few months in hiding, Thomas has re-emerged as his old self, zipping around to community meetings and glad-handing with the mayor at news conferences as if nothing has happened.

Is Troupe's declaration from back when true now? Will Thomas' only real punishment be a few months of embarrassment? That all depends on Holder's man in D.C., U.S. Attorney Ron Machen, and whether he decides to act on a gift-wrapped case dropped in his lap by Nathan. So, far we've waited nearly six months to see if he'll act.

But LL digresses; read the Mencimer profile here.

  • Truth Hurts

    Nice link to Mencimer's '97 cover story. Hadn't read it before.

    As for Harry "f... the kids" Thomas, why wouldn't he feel emboldened given one city's (and most other elected pols') refusal to publicly condemn his lowlife graft?

  • CC Coleman

    Eric Holder off to the Caribbean to teach those Island Nations how to run a Third World Police State into the ground.
    Lessons include...
    How to shoot women and children in the back while setting them on fire.
    How to pardon campaign contributors.
    How to support Voter Fraud and Intimidation.
    How to harass business into leaving the country (ah-la Gibson Guitars).
    How to raid Whole Food Coops and Amish Milk Farmers using SWAT Teams.
    How to setup False Flags using Iranian Used Car Salesmen.
    How to NOT prosecute Financial Criminals including Congressional Insider Trading.
    How to round up harmless senior citizens and call them terrorists.
    How to use the Patriot Act as a weapon against law abiding citizens.
    How to harass Private Game Preserves (Kansas).
    How to prosecute States that are enforcing Federal Immigration Laws.
    How to intimidate and harass Gun Shop owners into selling firearms to Drug Cartels.
    and How to evade and blame others for your own failings.