AFRICANGLOBE – A group of hard-line conservative House Republicans will introduce a resolution on Thursday calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder.
But there is no sign yet that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) or other House GOP leaders will act on the measure.
Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and 10 other House Republicans — including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Florida Rep. Ted Yoho — have drafted four articles of impeachment against Holder.
These include allegations that Holder violated federal law by refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena over the botched Fast and Furious gun-walking program; “failed to enforce multiple laws, including the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986,”; did not prosecute IRS employees over allegations the agency improperly handled the applications for nonprofit status by conservative political groups; and misled Congress over whether he was aware of a search warrant issued for the emails of FOX News reporter James Rosen.
“This was not a decision that I made lightly,” Olson said in a statement. “Since the House voted in 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the pattern of disregard for the rule of law and refusal to be forthright has only continued. The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the Attorney General refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action.”
Boehner’s office declined to comment on the Olson impeachment resolution, referring calls to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). Goodlatte’s panel would conduct any impeachment hearings against Holder.
In his own statement, Goodlatte was noncommittal on whether he planned to move forward with the resolution, although he did say that Holder should resign for the good of the Justice Department.
“Under Attorney General Holder’s watch, there has been a lack of leadership and a politicization of the Justice Department. Scandals from the Fast and Furious gunwalking operation to the seizure of reporters’ emails and phone records in national security leaks investigations have undermined the Department’s credibility and the American people’s trust. Attorney General Holder has also politicized the rule of law by refusing to enforce laws he doesn’t like.”
Goodlatte added: “The only way to restore credibility at the Department of Justice is through an improvement in the quality of leadership. President Obama should make a change in the leadership of the Department of Justice to restore the confidence of the American people in our nation’s top law enforcement agency.”
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the impeachment resolution.
But Matthew Miller, a former top Holder aide as DOJ, dismissed it as laughable.
“The first thing I’d say is that I can’t believe they didn’t include Benghazi and the Black Panthers because this is a list of every other Republican bugaboo and conspiracy theory,” said Miller, now a communications consultant on K Street.
“The best thing that could happen to Democrats would be for Republicans to bring this up. The more time they spend on this, the crazier and more out of touch they would look.”
The House approved civil and contempt resolutions against Holder in June 2012 over the Fast and Furious program, the first time that has been done to a sitting Cabinet member. DOJ refused to enforce the criminal contempt resolution, as previous administrations have done. The civil contempt citation is mired in a legal fight in federal court between Justice and House attorneys.
No Cabinet officer has been impeached by the House since Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached in March 1876 , despite the fact that the he resigned minutes before the House vote. The Senate held a trial for Belknap, acquitting him on all five charges. Belknap was never criminally prosecuted over the allegations.
By: John Bresnahan