Freshman congressman: Holder has a ‘blatant disregard for accountability’

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Freshman Republican Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder’s “blatant disregard” for the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious and the subpoenas he’s been issued is an affront to the American people.

In an interview with TheDC’s Ginni Thomas, Southerland said Holder’s apparent failure to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas is an exhibition of his “sense of entitlement” — by acting like his position is his “stake in life” and that he doesn’t “owe anyone for that position.”

“I think that, when you’re talking about the Department of Justice, when they show a blatant disregard for subpoenas, to me, they show a blatant disregard for accountability,” Southerland said. “And, if you show a blatant disregard for accountability, that means that you’re not teachable. You do not feel that you owe anyone else an explanation, nor do you feel that owe anyone appreciation for your position.”

Southerland added that he thinks Holder is acting like he’s personally guaranteed the position of Attorney General of the United States, and isn’t showing any regard for answering questions the American people have about Operation Fast and Furious.

“When we’re elected, we must thank those that put us here,” Southerland said. “And, when an elected official appoints someone else, they do owe the American people the appreciation of having that position. So, I find the blatant disregard of answering subpoenas and the stall tactics — it is really a slap at the American people.”

“So, I think anyone who exhibits wanton disregard for accountability, I think it’s fair for us to say, ‘hey, is this person capable of honoring the values that we expect in government officials?’” Southerland said.

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Southerland hasn’t yet demanded that Holder resign over Fast and Furious, but he does offer support for those calling for Holder’s resignation.

“I know some, who are one those committees, have gone so far as to ask Mr. Holder for his resignation,” Southerland said. “I see, because I do not serve on those committees of oversight and I do not understand those, I want to be very fair. I do know that the people who have called for his resignation are people that I find are very respectful, they’re people of integrity.”

Currently, 55 congressmen and two senators have called for Holder to resign.

Southerland said the growing number of calls for Holder’s resignation, and Holder’s refusal to comply with House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s subpoenas and requests for information and documents, signal to him that there’s something wrong in the Justice Department.

“When you have people of integrity calling for someone’s resignation, and that person who they’re calling for his resignation is continuing to stall and is not answering their subpoenas, after a while, you have to say: ‘You know what, there’s something to this and where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire,’” Southerland said.

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