House Republicans to try to impeach U.S. Attorney General Holder

WASHINGTON Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40pm EST

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder speaks during the Community Memorial Service at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama September 15, 2013. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder speaks during the Community Memorial Service at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama September 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Marvin Gentry

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the House of Representatives plan to introduce articles of impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, in the hopes of removing a cabinet member they say has lied to Congress as well as failed to uphold federal law.

"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," Texas Representative Pete Olson, who drafted the articles, said in a statement provided to Reuters on Wednesday.

"The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the attorney general refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action."

The Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment on the possibility of an impeachment move.

The resolution could pass the Republican-dominated House but would likely sputter in the Democratic-dominated Senate, which would have to hold a trial to remove Holder, who has been attorney general since 2009, from office.

Still, an impeachment drive would further fuel the tensions that exist between the federal government's top law enforcement officer and conservative lawmakers. According to the media firm CQ Roll Call, 10 other Republicans would co-sponsor the articles of impeachment, five of whom are from Texas.

According to an outline, the first article is based on "Operation Fast and Furious" a bungled attempt to build cases against major gun traffickers who supplied firearms to Mexican drug cartels, while electing not to immediately prosecute low-level traffickers even as they bought 2,000 potentially illegal guns.

The operation came to light after two of those firearms were found in Arizona at the scene of the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

After Holder refused to give a congressional committee subpoenaed documents about the Justice Department's involvement in "Fast and Furious" he was found in contempt of Congress. The House oversight committee has also sued for the documents.

The other impeachment articles rest on issues that have raised conservatives' ire in recent years, including Holder's decisions not to enforce laws on same-sex marriage, on prison sentences for certain drug crimes and not to prosecute an official in the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative political activists.

They also say Holder lied to Congress about a Justice Department investigation into Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

(Reporting By Lisa Lambert; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Comments (32)
skipper_2 wrote:
“I think a comprehensive approach is long overdue. And I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all,” Boehner said in an interview with ABC News the week after the election.
But John Boehner who has no time left for immigration bill has time to impeach AG.

Nov 13, 2013 9:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
L75Retired wrote:
WhyMeLord, how about raising your own standard of living instead of wanting someone else to do it for you/ Oh I forgot liberals always want someone else to do the heavy lifting….just give me my free stuff and I will vote for you forever. Holder is a crook and should be in jail.

Nov 13, 2013 9:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hawkeye19 wrote:
The criminal’s accomplices in the Senate would block any attempt to convict this Obama gang member.

Nov 13, 2013 9:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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