Brit Hume, Fox News Channel’s normally even-tempered senior advisor, lambasted liberal political analyst Juan Williams during the latest airing of Fox News Sunday.
The subject was President Obama’s appointment of Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the Justice Department’s gathering of reporters’ telephone and email information, including that of FNC’s own Washington correspondent James Rosen.
Williams took a position that would be difficult to imagine even liberal Democratic pundit Bob Beckel to take — that there was nothing wrong with Holder investigating Holder.
“Can you defend his decision to ask Eric Holder investigate and review Eric Holder’s actions?” Hume asked Williams.
Williams stated that the Justice Department was merely trying to look into a problem that has plagued not just this administration, but also the Bush White House — information leaks — and that it had nothing to do with the Rosen DOJ probe.
“Eric Holder did not conduct the probe that led people to somehow come to the madhouse conclusion that James Rosen was somehow a coconspirator,” Williams said.
Hume wasn’t buying it — not by a long shot. “Was that not in the FBI affidavit?”
“He signed the affidavit as Attorney General of the United States,” Williams said. “He did not conduct the probe.”
Raising his voice further, Hume said, “You’re saying he’s not ultimately responsible as the head man of the Justice Department, who personally signed off on this? If he signed off on it, how can he investigate it?”
Williams argued that as the head of Justice, he’s the one uniquely qualified to recognize overreach. Hume couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Wasn’t he supposed to see all that before he signed off on the affidavit?” Hume asked.
“He can’t see everything,” Williams said. “What he did was to say these are good people and he trusts his people—”
“You don’t know whether he said anything like that or not,” Hume cut in “What you do know, and what we all know, is that when this affidavit came to him rife with assertions that this reporter doing his job was acting in a criminal way, he OKed it.”
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