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Krauthammer: Holder’s Wait-And-See Approach on VA Scandal is ‘Just Stupid Politics’

• May 15, 2014 8:23 pm

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Columnist Charles Krauthammer tore into Attorney General Eric Holder's statement that he would wait to see what "comes out in the media" on the widening Veteran's Affairs scandal to determine what role the Justice Department should play in investigating the situation.

Reports of "deadly waiting times" and coverups at VA hospitals have led to calls for Secretary of Veteran's Affairs Eric Shinseki to resign. At least 40 veterans died waiting for appointments at the VA health care system in Phoenix.

"This is simply amazing," Krauthammer said during a panel discussion on Special Report. "He's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, and he's waiting to hear what the media will tell him about what's been happening inside the government." 

Holder referred to the "ongoing" investigation into the matter Tuesday, which amused Krauthammer.

"I love that phrase," he said. "It's always ongoing investigations, which is a way of saying ‘Well, it's ongoing, I have to wait.' He doesn't have to wait …  I think this is just stupid politics. I can understand stonewalling on Benghazi and the IRS and all the other stuff, but this is the V.A. This is a big mistake on his part."

Full exchange:

ERIC HOLDER: When I say that we are monitoring this, that doesn't imply inaction on our part. Monitoring is an active thing that we are doing. As I also indicated, there is an Inspector General investigation that is ongoing. We will be in communication with the Inspector General, review the results of that investigation, as it is ongoing. And we will also be looking at other information, frankly, things that come out in the media to help us determine what role, what further role, the Justice Department might play, whether, as I said in response to I guess an earlier question, whether federal agents need to be deployed, whether federal prosecutors need to be involved.

BRET BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This is simply amazing. He's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, and he's waiting to hear what the media will tell him about what's been happening inside the government, in the one system in the U.S. that is the most entirely governmentally run, medical system entirely run by the government. He's going to wait for — I love that phrase. It's always ongoing investigations, which is a way of saying ‘Well, it's ongoing, I have to wait.' He doesn't have to wait. On the basis of this, there is suspicion enough, as the senator from Connecticut said who used to be the Attorney General, there's obviously enough information to go on and to at least to begin a Department of Justice investigation. I mean, I think this is just stupid politics. I can understand stonewalling on Benghazi and the IRS and all the other stuff, but this is the V.A. This is a big mistake on his part.

Published under: Charles Krauthammer, Eric Holder