Opinion
This Oct. 4, 2010 file photo shows Attorney General Eric Holder speaking during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The case for impeaching Eric Holder

Photo of Rep. Pete Olson
Rep. Pete Olson
Contributor

‘Another day, another Washington scandal’ seems to be the going sentiment these days. So numerous are the Administration’s scandals that much of our populace may be growing numb to them. But we cannot let outrageous behavior and disregard for the constitutional functions of our republic go unnoticed and ignored. America deserves a government that is truthful and accountable. We’ve all seen the headlines about the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, the Administration’s refusal to defend the laws on the books, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s selective and unwarranted surveillance of the media. One man stands at the center of these scandals — Attorney General Eric Holder.

Consider Operation Fast and Furious, the infamous gun-walking program by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) that allowed guns to flow into Mexico in an attempt to track them to cartel leaders. The program, which was approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department, put thousands of illegally-purchased weapons into the hands of the cartels. One of these guns was found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2009. Congress continues to investigate the botched program, and Mr. Holder has appeared before congressional committees at least seven times. He dodged questions, made inconsistent statements, and refused to comply with Congress’ subpoena for documents related to the operation. Last July, with bipartisan support, the House voted to hold Mr. Holder in contempt of Congress. He was the first sitting cabinet member in American history to be held in contempt of Congress.

Eric Holder, as the chief law enforcement officer of the US, is obligated to uphold our nation’s laws. However, when President Obama unilaterally declared the unconstitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Holder agreed and refused to defend the law. Regardless of his or the president’s personal feelings towards DOMA, it was the law of the land, having been passed by Congress in 1996 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. He blatantly ignored his constitutional duties and jeopardized the credibility of the Justice Department by refusing to defend the law before the Supreme Court.

It is fair to reason that Holder also committed perjury when he testified under oath to Congress about the Justice Department’s investigation of FOX News Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen. In May, Attorney General Holder testified to the House Judiciary Committee that he was not involved in, and had not heard of, a potential prosecution of a journalist by the Justice Department. Three days later, the Justice Department released documents related to the Rosen investigation that named the reporter as a co-conspirator in alleged violations of the Espionage Act. Internal Justice Department regulations require the approval of the Attorney General to investigate a journalist. Mr. Holder undoubtedly knew about the ongoing investigation of Mr. Rosen because he was required to personally sign off on it. Mr. Holder refuses to say if he did, and has gagged the Justice Department from answering as well.