By Jerome Corsi and Garth Kant
WASHINGTON – Eric Holder is “getting out while the getting is good,” contends a Republican congressman in reaction to reports Thursday that the attorney general will resign.
“Holder knows the House is after him to produce his emails in the IRS scandal involving Lois Lerner, and he wants to get out now, in the possibility the Republicans control both the House and Senate after the November elections,” said Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, in an interview with WND.
Holder announced Thursday he will step down as soon as a successor is confirmed, which means he could stay in office well into next year. One source reported the attorney general is “adamant” about leaving soon so that he doesn’t end up staying in the job during the remainder of President Obama’s second term.
According to a White House press pool report, President Obama has not decided on a successor.
Calling him the “stonewaller in chief of the Obama administration,” Stockman said “the pressure is building on Holder in Congress and Obama knows it.”
“Holder has been keeping the lid on the IRS scandal so far, but I think Congress is going to find out there has been collusion between Holder’s Justice Department and the way the IRS investigations of conservatives have been pursued,” he said.
Stockman signed on to a bill introduced by Rep. Pete Olsen, R-Texas, in November 2013 asking for Holder’s impeachment over the IRS and Fast and Furious scandals. It currently has 28 supporters, all Republicans, and includes eight other Texans.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told WND Holder “will be remembered for his total disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law, which has become emblematic of the lawless Obama administration.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, noted in a statement that he has been calling for many years for Holder to resign.
“Not only has he lied before members of Congress and, ultimately, been held in contempt, he has obfuscated the truth and been the most partisan, partial, prejudiced and self-pitying attorney general in my lifetime, including John Mitchell, who went to jail for his crime.”
Gohmert charged Holder has “prosecuted more people for leaking, which sometimes is an effort at whistleblowing, than all other attorneys general added together.”
“He has not only failed to investigate crimes and potential crimes occurring in this administration, he has been the ‘cover-upper-in-chief’ and will be sorely missed by those in the administration like Lois Lerner who want to disobey the law and flaunt it,” Gohmert said.
Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., said in a statement Holder has “consistently demonstrated to the American people that the main task during his tenure has been to protect the White House and the White House agenda, more than pursue justice to the fullest extent.”
He said Obama should nominate someone who can restore American trust in the rule of law, noting Holder was held in contempt of Congress.
“Before the attorney general steps down, he should clear his desk of the documents and information he still owes Congress under subpoena,” Lankford said. “It is unacceptable for the nation’s highest law enforcement individual to stall and then resign without fulfilling his legal obligations to Congress.”
Stockman argued the window for Holder to exit gracefully is closing rapidly as the midterm elections in November approach. He said impeachment proceedings against Holder might turn up enough evidence to justify a criminal indictment, especially if it develops he played a role in the IRS targeting of conservatives.
“When we start checking the White House guest list and Holder shows up there more often than Kathleen Sebelius when she headed Obamacare, and the House starts tracking Lois Lerner’s history of government jobs and starts proving she had a history of being political and hating conservatives going back to when she was employed by the Justice Department and the FEC, the pressure on the Obama administration will turn up dramatically,” Stockman said.
“That’s what Obama seeks to avoid by having Holder resign now.”
Stockman said he also believes Holder is “angling to get a judgeship appointment in Obama’s last two lame-duck years in office.”
“Cleverly, Holder’s getting out while the Democratic Senate can still confirm a replacement,” he said. “This will avoid a lot of questions the Obama administration would face if Holder’s resignation came after the midterms when Holder’s replacement might have to face a Republican Senate.”
Sources say Holder finalized plans to leave office in a meeting with Obama over the weekend.
Holder reportedly informed his Justice Department staff and some members of Congress Thursday morning of his decision. He has not revealed what his future plans hold.
A leading candidate to replace Holder is Solicitor General Don Verrilli, the administration’s lawyer to the Supreme Court.
Holder, 63, has been a lightning rod for criticism for both his actions and his words.
- He called America “a nation of cowards” regarding race relations in a 2009 Black History Month speech.
- His decision to try the planners of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City was severely criticized by national politicians, local officials and surviving family members.
- The attorney general refused to fulfill his obligation to defend a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
- He was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. It was the first time in the nation’s history that an attorney general had been charged with that offense, but President Obama kept his friend on the job.
- Holder sued North Carolina and Texas over voting laws he claimed oppressed minorities.
- He launched 20 investigations into alleged abuses by local police departments despite the fact a Washington Post investigation blasted his own performance supervising local police abuses during his tenure as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in the 1990s.
- And, he injected himself personally into the controversy in Ferguson, Missouri, over the summer, by launching a federal investigation into the local police shooting of a young black man by a white officer almost immediately after the incident, and before many details of the case had been verified or publicly revealed.
When Holder traveled to Ferguson, he specifically cited race as a reason for being there.
He told residents, “I am the attorney general of the United States, but I am also a black man.”
The nation’s top law-enforcement official recounted the humiliation and anger he felt in earlier years after being stopped for speeding twice on the New Jersey turnpike. He referred to the racial “mistrust and mutual suspicion” between the black community and law enforcement in Ferguson.
But race did not appear to motivate Holder to crack down on the epidemic of police shootings in Washington, D.C., either during his tenure as U.S. attorney or attorney general. Holder, appointed by President Clinton in 1993, was the first African-American to become the district’s U.S. attorney.
Washington Post investigation
Police shootings in Washington were the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post investigation in 1998. The five-part series indicated Holder’s performance as an investigator of police shootings was dismal.
As U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1993 to 1997, Holder was in charge of investigating police shootings by local officers. The Post investigation discovered the number of people shot by Washington police doubled between 1988 and 1995. Sixteen people were shot by police under Holder’s watch just in 1995. Not only did police shootings mushroom during his tenure, almost one-third of those between 1994 and 1997 weren’t even counted by his department.
The paper published a map showing 20 unarmed civilians were shot by Washington police from 1994 to 1998. Eight of those unarmed people were killed by police.
USA Today revived the Post investigation during the Ferguson unrest with an opinion piece by author James Bovard, who declared during Holder’s reign he did “little to protect Washington residents from rampaging lawmen” as police violence “spiraled out of control.” The article said Holder largely ignored abusive actions by police as civilians were shot and killed by officers at a rate higher than any other major city police department. Bovard said Holder’s promise to conduct a full and fair investigation of the shooting in Ferguson was belied by “his own record.”
At the time, Assistant Washington Police Chief Terrance Gainer even had to admit, “We shoot too often, and we shoot too much when we do shoot.”
The Post found Washington police were not prosecuted by Holder even when police review boards ruled shootings unjustified or discovered contradictions in officers’ testimony.