Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that he supports House Republican efforts to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his failure to comply with the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.
“Congress… has a legitimate constitutional right to have oversight over the attorney general and the Justice Department,” Rubio said in a weekly video series in which he responds to constituent mail from Floridians. “That’s one of the legitimate roles of the House, is to have oversight to basically hold accountable the decisions made by these agencies.”
“Congress requested records,” Rubio continued. “They said, ‘Let us see your records, your emails, your decision making memos. Let us look at these things, so we can make sure when you knew these things and how far along did you know it, and what you did to stop it.’ And the attorney general has refused to provide those documents. They’ve even offered him to show those documents in a private setting, so that the most sensitive ones don’t become public and don’t undermine the Justice Department’s ability to do their work. But again, the attorney general has refused.”
Rubio went on to explain how the “committee, which has subpoena power, again, under the Constitution and laws of this country, has voted to hold him in contempt. The committee did, and now, the full House will hold a vote on that as well.”
Rubio said he agrees with the House’s scheduled contempt vote on Thursday. “I think that it is outrageous for any attorney general, Republican or Democrat, to refuse to comply with Congress’ constitutional right to hold them accountable and the Justice Department accountable. I would say that if this was a Republican, just like I do now because it’s a Democrat. Not only that, I think this has gone on so long, and the stonewalling by the attorney general has been so egregious that I think he has to resign. And I don’t come to that position lightly.
Rubio continued, “I don’t like asking for resignations, especially in a position as important as attorney general. But the problem here is that the attorney general, just the day before, was willing to show some of these documents if they just gave him more time. Others he wasn’t willing to show at all. But now they’ve argued executive privilege, which is basically a protection the President uses if someone in the White House or if Presidents themselves want to protect their communications from discovery. But a day earlier, they weren’t using executive privilege, so what changed in between?”
“Well, what it leads us to believe unfortunately – and I hope I’m wrong, I really do – but it leads me to believe that there’s something in those documents they don’t want us to know about,” Rubio added. “There’s something in there they don’t want the public to be aware of, and I think that’s wrong.”
Rubio is one of seven U.S. senators who has demanded Holder’s resignation over the scandal, joining the calls last week.