After House Speaker John Boehner announced that he is considering filing a lawsuit against President Obama over his executive actions, Republicans are now once again going after their second-favorite target, Attorney General Eric Holder, with threats of impeachment.
Holder, who was actually found in contempt of Congress two years ago when the Republicans were obsessing over the gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious, is now piquing the ire of Republicans because of his refusal to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS.
It appears that every few months the GOP finds yet another reason to call for the attorney general’s head.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to the floor of the Senate to try to make the case that the media and Democrats are letting the Obama administration off easy when it comes to the IRS “scandal”—a scandal that centers around Republican complaints that the IRS was targeting them for possible audits or further investigation.
“If Attorney General Eric Holder continues to refuse to appoint a special prosecutor, he should be impeached,” Cruz said.
Cruz said Holder has mocked the rule of law and has corrupted the Justice Department in such a way that it “constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors.”
On Fox News, commentator Greta Van Susteren made a similar claim, calling for Holder to resign or be fired by the president.
“The attorney general’s job is to protect the American people, and that includes protecting them from bad government officials and renegade government agencies,” she said. “Holder is not doing his job. And since he won’t do it, he should at least have the decency to appoint someone who will, a special prosecutor. But he won’t do that, either,” she said, adding, “I don’t get Holder. He actually was a really fair, good judge. Now he seems to play partisan politics and at the American taxpayers’ citizen’s expense. That’s wrong. By now, he should be finished with an investigation of Lois Lerner and the IRS. It’s been 14 months. He has tens of thousands of prosecutors working for him. Investigation doesn’t mean conviction. It simply means getting to the bottom of suspicious behavior.”
In a profile on Politico.com, writer Glenn Thrush ponders why Holder has outlasted his critics inside the White House and seems immune to attacks from the outside. He suggests that it’s because of his close friendship with the president, one of the president’s rare friendships that crosses work barriers.
“Holder has been willing to say the things Obama couldn’t or wouldn’t say about race,” Thrush writes.
“He’s a race man,” Charles Ogletree, a longtime friend of Holder’s who taught and mentored Obama and his wife, Michelle, as Harvard Law School students in the 1980s, told Thrush. “He’s gone farther and deeper into some issues of race than the White House would like, but I know he has the president’s well-wishes. It’s clear [Obama and Holder] believe in the same things.”
As for the possible Boehner lawsuit over the president’s executive orders on matters like healthcare, climate change and the minimum wage, Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that it is a “stunt.”
“The suit is a stunt, but what I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is, ‘If you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress?’” Obama said.
“You’ll notice that he didn’t specifically say what exactly he was objecting to,” Obama said. “I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.”
Stephanopoulos asked Obama to respond to the speaker’s statement that “we elected a president … we didn’t elect a monarch or king.”
“Right now we’ve got a Republican Party that seems to only care about saying ‘no’ to me,” the president said, later adding, “You’re going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of [government] administratively that are within my authority while you’re not doing anything?”