Garth Kant is WND Washington news editor. Previously, he spent five years writing, copy-editing and producing at "CNN Headline News," three years writing, copy-editing and training writers at MSNBC, and also served several local TV newsrooms as producer, executive producer and assistant news director. He is the author of the McGraw-Hill textbook, "How to Write Television News."More ↓Less ↑
Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, is calling for a special prosecutor look into the Obama administration’s involvement in several scandals making national headlines.
Gohmert, a candid lawmaker who doesn’t mince words, has been in the spotlight recently for speaking boldly about the scandals in Washington.
On May 15, Gohmert got into a heated exchange with Attorney General Eric Holder during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. When Holder challenged the congressman’s truthfulness, Gohmert shot back, “You point out one thing that I said that was not true.”
The attorney general replied, “I know what the FBI did. You cannot know what I know,” but he didn’t cite any inaccuracies by Gohmert.
The next day at a Capitol Hill news conference in which tea-party members described abuse by the IRS, Gohmert implied the president is a tyrant.
The congressman thundered, “If the AP story has taught anything it should be, to the media, that when there is a tyrannical despot, the media will be one of the early victims – you will be used as helpful savants for awhile, and then when you’re no longer needed, you will be pressured and put out of business as well.” (See the video below.)
WND asked Gohmert what Congress should be doing about the Obama scandals, beginning with abuses at the Justice Department.
“We’ve already found the attorney general in contempt, and that did nothing,” he said. “We have all kinds of issues we’ve asked the Justice Department about and they are not providing any answers.
“So, unless we have legislation that creates a special prosecutor to deal with an attorney general who is in contempt of Congress and who will not address the issues he’s created, we won’t get to the bottom of it.”
The House of Representatives found Holder in contempt last June for refusing to turn over documents in the Fast & Furious scandal.
The Justice Department’s latest scandals involve secretly obtaining a massive number of phone records from the Associated Press while pursuing a leak, naming a Fox News reporter an unindicted co-conspirator for gaining access to confidential information from the State Department and targeting another Fox News reporter and a producer pursuing the Fast & Furious gun-running scandal.
“The Justice Department misused the judicial process. To get a warrant to go after a Fox News reporter who was simply trying to get a scoop, there’s nothing illegal about that,” Gohmert said. “If people had known how wide and deep the Fast & Furious situation was, it certainly could have affected the last election. So, they go after a reporter who’s going to try to get to the bottom of it. The Justice Department is actually protecting itself there.
“Holder claims the AP leak was one of the most egregious he’s ever seen. Well, apparently every leak that makes the Obama administration look bad is egregious.”
He added, “Instead of just violating the Constitution so completely and so brashly and going after the AP, the more appropriate thing to do would be to say, ‘You know what, we’ve got only a handful of people in this administration who knew this information that was leaked. Let’s check just those folks’ phone lines. Let’s see who they were meeting with, and we’ll make the determination from there.’ But that’s not what they wanted to do. They didn’t want to catch the leaker in the administration. They would much rather intimidate the AP and go after all the other records that they could use to help intimidate them in the future. It’s just incredible.”
WND asked Gohmert what Congress should do about the IRS’ harassment of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
“Now that we have at least one IRS official (Lois Lerner, head of the tax-exempt organizations division) who has taken the Fifth Amendment, we’re not going to be able to get to the bottom of it without using the judiciary process, so it looks like we’ll have to pursue that ourselves,” indicating this scandal will also require a special prosecutor.
But Gohmert didn’t stop there.
“I think we need to be dismantling the IRS so this can never happen again. You can actually change the outcome of an election by intimidating those who won’t speak up and by preventing groups from obtaining legal status so they won’t raise money and hold gatherings,” he said. “We’ve created a system where, unless you get a certain tax status you can’t raise money and go out and speak your mind. You have to have IRS approval. They figured that out and intimidated people who could have affected the election.
“So, it is bad. We’ve got to dismantle the IRS to the point it can never do that again.”
Gohmert suggested a flat tax would help prevent IRS abuse of power, adding, “If we are going to have an IRS, it will have to be just a shadow of its current self and never have this kind of power to affect elections again, as it it appears it may have.”
Asked whether he believes the orders to harass conservatives came from the top, Gohmert replied, “That’s what we don’t know yet. They threw a heck of a firewall around the president. Maybe he doesn’t know. Maybe it’s one of those situations where everyone’s so desperate to keep this president in power that they would use and abuse the IRS to try to intimidate opponents of the president.”
Gohmert didn’t say whether he believes it’s time to have a special prosecutor look into all the serious questions about the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. For starters, he’d like to know whose idea it was to blame the attack on an anti-Islamic video that has since been proven unrelated to events there.
“Apparently, there was a 10 p.m. call between [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton and the president and, gee, right after that call they start talking about a video. But at two in the morning, when [former deputy chief of mission in Libya] Greg Hicks says [U.S. Ambassador to Libya] Chris Stevens’ last, dying desperate words were, ‘We’re under attack,’ it is clear it was not about a video. Everybody knew it was not about a video. They knew it was an attack. [The attackers] knew exactly where to plant the mortars.
“Sending Susan Rice out (to push the video in the talk shows) – I feel quite sure she didn’t know she was not telling the truth. They sent her out because she wouldn’t know she was lying, and she was quite convincing.”
As a former U.S. Army captain, Gohmert is shocked the military didn’t send forces to respond to the attack.
“What happened at Benghazi is just unthinkable,” he said. “We have an American tradition of protecting your fellow soldiers. You never want to be left hanging by yourself. If somebody is out there without enough help, then you try to go help them.
“Then you find out there was military personnel ready to go, but they were told to stand down. I’ve been trying to get in touch with some of those people, and it’s tough. Apparently they like to send these guys on training missions where they can’t use their cell phones, which means you have a heck of a time trying to talk to them about when they were ordered to stand down.
“There’s just so much there, we haven’t got nearly to the bottom, and it already stinks to high heaven.”