Brit Hume Hammers Juan Williams for Saying Eric Holder's the 'Exact Right Person' to Probe His Own Department

On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume hammered at fellow Fox analyst Juan Williams for asserting Attorney General Eric Holder was “the exact right person” to investigate his own Justice Department’s excesses in probing journalists for leaks.

Not even Bob Schieffer was buying that idea on CBS. He said it "makes no sense."  Williams tried to blame the Republicans and the Bush administration for the heightened leak investigations:

CHRIS WALLACE: Can you defend his decision to ask Eric Holder to investigate and review Eric Holder's actions?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, I think the first thing to say is that Republicans have been hammering Eric Holder and I think that hammer is Eric Holder's language, his own, to go after the leaks. That they have wanted him to pursue leaks that had to do with how bin Laden was killed to secret prisons to the attack on the cyber network in Iran that the U.S. had launched. Why is all this information flowing from the Obama White House? Is Obama trying to glamorize himself? All that.

That came from Republicans, and it has been something that the Bush administration started and it has been continued with a vengeance, to everyone’s surprise by this administration. In the direct response to your question, Chris, Eric Holder did not conduct the probe that led people to somehow come to the madhouse conclusion that James Rosen is somehow a co-conspirator. Is somehow ...

WALLACE: But wait a minute, was that not in the FBI affidavit seeking--

WILLIAMS: He signed the affidavit as Attorney General of the United States, he did not conduct the probe. So the question is, how can you go and,would come to the conclusion that a working reporter with a long-standing, excellent career in Washington is somehow now involved in espionage. That is the question.

WALLACE: Well, he is ...

BRIT HUME: The problem is, it went to Holder and he okayed it!

WILLIAMS: He okayed the work of his investigators, and so now as the attorney general--

HUME: You are saying he is not ultimately responsible as the head man of the Justice Department ...

WILLIAMS: Well, that's why ....

HUME: ... who personally signed off on this?

WILLIAMS: That's -- he signed off on -- the question ...

HUME: He signed off...

WILLIAMS: ... to go back and look at the work of the investigators ...

HUME: I understand that, but how he -- if he signed off on it, how can he investigate it?

WILLIAMS: Because now is an opportunity, and he is the exact right person as Atorney general of the United States to see what prosecutors did and how they came to this conclusion.

HUME: Well, he is ...

WILLIAMS: We've seen this ...          

HUME: Wasn't he supposed to see all of that before he signed off on the affidavit?

WILLIAMS: You cannot see everything. I mean you -- what he did was to say, these are good people, he trusts his people. Now it's time for someone including ...

HUME: I  don't know whether he said anything like that or not.

WILLIAMS: I understand--

HUME: What you do know is, and what we all know is that when that affidavit came to him, rife with assertions that this reporter doing his job, was acting in a criminal way, he okayed it!

Before Williams began talking strangely, Hume said treating Fox News reporter James Rosen like a potential criminal suspect is outrageous, and exposes Holder as a liar, or a bumbler:

That does not square with what Holder told Congress. And not only about the standards he would use, but also about his own involvement. It's going to be argued by a lot of people he was lying. At a minimum, I would say, it's another example of his being untrustworthy and I would say also bumbling. And it can't be reconciled, and the president's decision to have him review it, because it encompasses the Rosen case, obviously, means that he is in effect making inquiry into himself, which is a howling conflict of interest, not merely a potential one, but a clear one. So I don't even know how anybody could take him seriously for five minutes.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis