The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) demanded Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation on Wednesday, a day ahead of a vote in which he’s expected to be held in contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with a congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.
“The mission of the Department of Justice is ‘to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice,’” RNLA Chairman David Norcross and RNLA President Cleta Mitchell wrote to Holder. “Yet you have approached what should be a nonpartisan law enforcement position in an extremely politicized manner. You were quoted by The New York Times as stating that people view you as taking ‘consistently progressive stands.’ Your comment was followed by a Department of Justice statement confirming that you are a ‘progressive force’ as attorney general. You told the members of the House Judiciary Committee that there is ‘a political aspect to this job.’”
“Under your tenure, the Justice Department has failed to fully comply with a subpoena from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for Fast and Furious program documents,” Norcross and Mitchell continued. “Your Justice Department sent an entirely inaccurate letter to the committee on February 4, 2011 denying that the department had any knowledge about the program.”
Norcross and Mitchell added that Holder has “selectively enforced or challenged the law based on political preferences,” such as not enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act and having “denied preclearance of voter identification laws passed by South Carolina and Texas.”
They cite how Holder “dismissed a voter intimidation lawsuit where members of the Black Panthers Party dressed in military garb, wielded a nightstick and used racial slurs as voters approached a Philadelphia polling place on election day” in 2008. Even though “career lawyers intended to proceed with the case after convincing a judge to issue an order against one of the defendants,” they wrote, “political appointees did not want to pursue voter intimidation cases against white victims.”
“Your Office of Legal Counsel issued a memorandum attempting to justify the appointments made by President Obama during a pro forma session, in contravention of the Senate’s power to advise and consent,” Norcross and Mitchell continued. “You refused to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate leaks of classified material. Your Department of Justice instructed career attorneys not to enforce Section 8 of Voter Registration Act.”
The RNLA chiefs went on to point how Holder has failed to “comply with a request for correspondence from Justice Elena Kagan about the Affordable Care Act from her tenure as solicitor general” and “engaged in politicized hiring, whereby nonpolitical positions in the Department of Justice were filled only by liberal activists.”
“In 2009, you released classified memos on enhanced interrogation techniques which endangered national security by providing sensitive information to enemies of the United States,” they added. “You sought to have detainees transferred to civilian court in New York for Article III trials, instead of military tribunals, despite the threats to security. You ordered that Miranda rights be given to Mr. [Umar Farouk] Abdulmutallab, the so-called ‘underwear bomber.’”
Norcross and Mitchell also pointed out how “excessive spending by the Department of Justice, which included $16 muffins, was identified by the inspector general report finding that the DOJ engaged in extravagant spending despite requirements that spending by reduced by federal and DOJ guidelines issued in 2008.”
The RNLA joins the AFL-CIO- and Richard Trumka-backed National Border Patrol Council, as well as more than a hundred members of Congress, in demanding that Holder step down.