Holder Testifies at Senate Judiciary Hearing, Criticized by Senate Republicans
Attorney General Eric Holder went before a Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday where he was questioned about the national security leaks coming from the White House. Those leaks center around the cyber-attack on Iran as well as the drone target kill list.
Holder pointed out that investigators have already interviewed him as well as FBI Director Robert Mueller about any possible role they may have played in the leaks.
Those leaks have been characterized by congressmen as the worse series of leaks to ever come to light. Holder appointed two U.S. Attorneys to investigate those leaks last week, but the incident has taken a decidedly partisan turn as Republicans have begun calling for an independent investigation. But, Holder said of his appointments, they “follow leads wherever they are, whether in the executive branch or other component of government." He continued by saying, “This committee and the American people can have great faith in the two people I've asked to lead this investigation.”
The lead was taken up by Senator McCain today as he introduced a Senate Resolution calling for that investigation. Senate Democrats blocked that Resolution this afternoon, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) objected after McCain called for unanimous consent to proceed to consideration of his resolution.
Senator Linsey Graham (R-S.C.) criticized President Obama and Vice President Biden and accused them of hypocrasy because of their call for special counsel during the Bush Administration over the Valerie Plume and Jack Abramoff cases then. Both the Vice President and President were Senators at the time.
“All we’re asking for is what Senator Obama and Senator Biden asked for in previous national security events involving corruption of the government,” Graham continued by saying, “I guess the difference is we’re supposed to trust Democratic administrations and you can’t trust Republican administrations.”
Graham and McCain both said that special counsel is nesessary because off the possible conflict of interest from sources within the current administration.
Graham accused Democrats of having a double standard, saying, “There’s no doubt in my mind if the shoe was on the other foot, you and everybody on that side would be screaming.” It was that statement that drew opposition from across the aisle. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said at the hearing, “To have a fight over how we do this now will set back any leak investigation.”
But Republicans still beleive and have said that Holder's record raises red flags as to his ability to remain independent.
John Cornyn (R-Tex) called on Holder to resign. Cornyn, who is the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said at the Judicial Hearing, “You’ve violated the public trust in my view and by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office,.” he continued, “Mr. Attorney General, it is more with sorrow than anger that I would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office.”
“The American people deserve better; they deserve an attorney general who is accountable and independent; they deserve an attorney general who puts justice before politics,” said Cornyn. “And it’s my sincere hope that President Obama will replace you with someone who’s up to that challenge.”
The House of Representatives Republicans have Holder in their sights as well, and have scheduled a vote next week on whether to place him in contempt of Congress for his non-compliance to a subpoena from Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif) in the botched"Fast and Furious" gun-tracking case.