A few weeks ago we highlighted an epic climate change rant offered up by California's governor, Jerry Brown, who vowed to fight Trump, saying "we've got the scientists, we've got the lawyers and we're ready to fight" (see "Caught On Tape: CA Governor Brown Goes On Epic Climate Change Rant; Vows To Defy Trump"). And while Brown touted his army of lawyers, apparently he needed just one more which prompted the retention of former Obama Attorney General, Eric Holder. Per the New York Times:
“With the upcoming change in administrations, we expect that there will be extraordinary challenges for California in the uncertain times ahead. This is a critical moment in the history of our nation. We have an obligation to defend the people who elected us and the policies and diversity that make California an example of what truly makes our nation great.”
“Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California,” Kevin de León, the Democratic leader of the Senate, said in an interview. “This means we are very, very serious.”
Mr. 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 Mr. Holder as they watched Mr. Trump assemble his cabinet and begin to set the tone for his presidency.
“It was very clear that it wasn’t just campaign rhetoric,” Mr. de León said of Mr. Trump’s proposals over the past year. “He was surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.”
Of course, Holder was "honored" to win the mandate from California which will undoubtedly result in $10s of million of dollars in bribes fees for his new law firm.
“I am honored that the Legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California’s residents and policy priorities,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. “I am confident that our expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues will be a great resource to the Legislature.”
The Legislature has an ample stable of lawyers on staff, but officials said Mr. Holder and his firm brought specific litigation and political skills that could be needed in the coming years. Mr. de León said the final compensation for the firm had not been set, but would be publicly disclosed once it was.
As a reminder, Holder made history back in 2012 when he became the first Attorney General ever to be held in contempt of Congress over his failure to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal which involved selling guns to Mexican drug cartels. The scandal erupted on the national stage when one of those guns was confirmed to have been used to kill a U.S. border control agent, Brian Terry.
Meanwhile, the retention of Holder follows Jerry Brown's appointment of Representative Xavier Becerra to replace Kamala Harris as California's attorney general. Becerra is expected to vehemently fight the Trump administration on any efforts to enforce immigration laws.
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.
That appointment made Mr. Becerra one of the highest-ranking Latino officials in this state, and he is expected to be instrumental in battling with the Trump White House over any attempt to enforce stringent measures aimed at immigrants. Mr. Brown has made clear that he intends to challenge the administration on global warming and that his attorney general will be a key to that battle.
If regime changes make it difficult to peddle your power and influence in Washington D.C., we guess California is the next most logical destination.