From this morning's off-camera press gaggle with White House press secretary Jay Carney:
QUESTION: A question on the situation regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. Yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder rejected attacks on Paul Clement, who is taking up defense of the statute on behalf of the U.S. House. Paul Clement has taken a lot of heat from the LGBT community for volunteering to take up defense of DOMA. Eric Holder said, “Paul Clement is a great lawyer and has done a lot of really great things for this nation. In taking on the representation -- representing Congress in connection with DOMA, I think he is doing that which lawyers do when we’re at our best. That criticism I think was very misplaced.” And Holder went on to compare the criticism of Clement to attacks on the Justice Department lawyers for their past for detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Does the President share Eric Holder’s views on this?
MR. CARNEY: We do share Eric Holder’s views on this. We think -- as we said from the beginning when we talked about -- when I did from this podium -- about the decision no longer from the administration to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, that we would support efforts by Congress if they so chose to defend it. And so I have nothing to add to the Attorney General’s comments.
On Tuesday, April 26, according to a report from Politico's Josh Gerstein, Holder spoke with reporters about criticism of Clement's representation of the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group. From Politico:
"Paul Clement is a great lawyer and has done a lot of really great things for this nation. In taking on the representation — representing Congress in connection with DOMA, I think he is doing that which lawyers do when we're at our best," Holder said during a roundtable with reporters at the Justice Department. "That criticism, I think, was very misplaced."
Holder also compared the criticism of Clement to the attacks on Justice Department lawyers for their past work for detainees at Guantanamo. "It was something we dealt with here in the Department of Justice ...The people who criticized our people here at the Justice Department were wrong then, as are people who criticized Paul Clement for the representation that he's going to continue," Holder added.
Holder said he wasn't laying blame for Clement's disagreement with King & Spalding or disputing the firm's claim it withdrew due to improper vetting of the agreement to represent the House of Representatives ....