Much of California do not have a liking for US President Donald Trump and the people in the state seems determined to take their battle against his administration at whatever cost. Or at least that is what the majority thinks but not all of them.
They have found a very strong ally in former US Attorney General Eric Holder but they are apparently paying the hefty price for it.
Reports have it that California taxpayers are shelling out $25,000 a month for 40 hours of Holder’s time to help the state strategize for upcoming clashes with the Trump administration, according to a contract obtained by a conservative watchdog group.
The California Legislature hired Holder and his Washington, D.C., firm, Covington & Burling, last month to assist with legal challenges over everything from immigration to environmental policies, reports Fox News.
Crony corruption of a deal
Judicial Watch, which obtained Holder’s contract through a records request, called the deal crony corruption, pure and simple.
The new records show California state legislators are wasting tax dollars to bankroll another corrupt politician, Eric Holder, under the pretense of attacking the Trump administration, said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton in a written statement. Holder’s firm did not respond to a request for comment.
Early this month, lawmakers paraded the former Obama administration official around the state capital, though they remained quiet on what exactly Holder would be helping them with. Holder himself was coy when asked about his role.
Holder said that he was there to assist the gentlemen and the people who they serve with in trying to protect the interests of the people of California. But when he was asked how he was doing it, Holder responded by merely saying ‘Well.’
The former US Attorney General had a closed-door meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined in by phone.
Holder’s visit in the first week of the month marked the first time that he has come to the capital since his firm was hired last month as independent counsel.
Not everyone is onboard
However, not all California lawmakers are on board with the hiring of Holder. Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, a Republican, claims the three-month contract with Holder’s firm is illegal.
In a letter to the opinion unit of the state attorney general’s office, Kiley contended that hiring Holder as outside counsel violates Article VII of the California Constitution.
Representatives for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said the legislature was exempt from rules that would apply to an executive agency.
Holder was one of former President Barack Obama’s longest-serving and most controversial Cabinet members.
On June 28, 2012, he became the first US Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress on civil and criminal grounds for refusing to turn over documents on Operation Fast and Furious.
Democratic leaders of the California Legislature announced early last month that they had hired Eric H. Holder Jr., who was the Attorney General under President Obama, to represent them in any legal fights against the new Republican White House.
The decision by the Legislature to retain Holder, who is now a prominent Washington lawyer, is the latest sign of the ideological battle that may play out over the next four years between the predominantly Democratic state and Washington, details the New York Times.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president, defeated Trump by more than four million votes in California.
Kevin de Leon, the Democratic leader of the Senate said that having the former Attorney General of the United States brings them a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California. He added that it also means that they are very serious to fight it out with the Trump administration.
De León said he expected California to challenge Washington and defend itself from policies instituted in Washington on issues including the environment, immigration, and criminal justice.
He said California Democrats decided to turn to Holder as they watched Trump assemble his cabinet and begin to set the tone for his presidency.
The move by Mr. de León and his Democratic counterpart in the Assembly, Anthony Rendon, follows Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointment of Representative Xavier Becerra as attorney general last month, to succeed Kamala D. Harris, who was elected to the United States Senate.