Nearly a dozen GOP House members have introduced articles of impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder, MSNBC reported Thursday.
Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, drafted the articles, telling Reuters on Wednesday it was not an easy decision to make, but one that had to be done given Holder’s conduct in office.
“This was not a decision that I made lightly. 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,” he said. “The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the attorney general refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action.”
Among those co-sponsoring the articles are Reps. Larry Bucshon, R-In., Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, Phil Roe, R-Tenn., Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., Roger Williams, R-Texas, Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Randy Weber, R-Texas. NBC said that Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, also co-sponsored the resolution.
The articles of impeachment are broken into four sections, Breitbart.com said.
The first calls for Holder to be removed from office over his conduct relating to Fast and Furious. Congress has held Holder in contempt for failure to comply with subpoenas regarding the gun-running scandal.
The second deals with Holder’s refusal to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986.
The third section deals with Holder’s refusal to prosecute IRS officials involved in the “scandal of unauthorized disclosure of tax records belonging to political donors.”
The final section deals with Holder’s involvement in the targeting of reporters like Fox News’ James Rosen.
Holder testified under oath on May 15, 2013, the resolution states, that he “he was neither involved in nor had heard of a potential prosecution of the press.” Three days later, though, Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) “released documents naming journalist James Rosen as a co-conspirator in an alleged violation of the Espionage Act.” Holder later confirmed to Congress that he had in fact “approved a search warrant on James Rosen.”
“For nearly five years, we have witnessed Mr. Holder repeatedly deceive Congress and degrade the credibility of the Justice Department in the eyes of the American people,” the members wrote in a memo sent to Breitbart.com. “Last year, the House of Representatives took the unprecedented step of holding Mr. Holder in contempt of Congress, making him the first sitting cabinet official ever to hold this distinction.”
“Unfortunately,” the members added, Holder has “continued to act in a manner unbefitting of a cabinet official; he has failed to perform his constitutional duties and violated the law on a number of occasions.”
Democrat Adam Schiff blasted Republicans for the effort, claiming it reeked of partisan politics.
“I didn’t think that the political attacks against Eric Holder by House Republicans could get any more irresponsible, but they did today when some GOP members proposed the most fundamental abuse of the impeachment power,” Schiff said in a statement. “The constitution specifically reserves impeachment for treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. Yet the articles introduced against the Attorney General are nakedly political, representing a laundry list of debunked conspiracy theories directed at the attorney general and the administration.”
He also claimed Republicans were intent on settling a political score.
NBC observed that Democrats discussed impeaching Attorney General Albert Gonzales during the Bush administration, but Gonzales resigned before articles of impeachment could be filed.
While the GOP-controlled House may pass the resolution, it is unlikely the Senate, controlled by Harry Reid, D-Nev., will pass the measure.
If the resolution passes, Holder would become the first cabinet member to be impeached in over a century.
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