Mr. Holder and Contempt
In spite of President Obama's attempt to thwart their action by claiming executive privilege, the House Oversight Committee has forwarded a contempt citation for Attorney General Eric Holder to the House of Representatives for consideration. The question remaining is if the full chamber will now vote to approve their recommendation.
Contempt is quite the hallmark of Mr. Holder's career. Between 1997 and 1999, during his obsession in obtaining freedom for members of the deadly and unrepentant FALN terrorist group, Holder showed contempt for the victims, not to mention the prosecutors and judges involved, by deliberately not contacting them. He also pressured U.S. Pardon Attorney Roger Adams to recommend clemency against Adams's own reservations.
After Bill Clinton's controversial offer for members of the terrorist group in 1999, Holder again showed contempt in his testimony before Congress concerning his key role by continually hiding behind executive privilege. He further made numerous attempts to shift the full blame for the decision to Mr. Clinton.
From 1999 to 2001, during the latter half of his four years as Mr. Clinton's deputy attorney general, Mr. Holder again showed contempt for the pardon process by his key role in facilitating a pardon for fugitive billionaire and tax evader Marc Rich in a blatant and corrupt move to further his own political ambitions. He once again avoided contacting prosecutors and made sure to keep pardon attorney Adams out of the process until it was too late for Mr. Adams to stop the outrageous act.
During his unbelievable congressional testimony in 2001 about the Rich pardon, Holder's evasive and misleading statements left many members of Congress both dumbfounded and at times nearly speechless. This would be repeated again in 2009 during his confirmation hearings before the Senate about his involvement in both the FALN and Rich pardons.
Now, with the current Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, Mr. Holder not only chooses to ignore subpoenas, but also expects the public and the Congress to believe that he never saw more than a dozen memos about the operation that were addressed to him. He also expects everyone to believe that he cannot remember any e-mail exchanges with his key aides about the issue, even though they were deeply involved in various aspects of the deadly operation.
Even in light of the fact that the gun-walking operation has led to the deaths of both Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010 and U.S. Immigration Agent Jaime Zapata in 2011, as well as to the deaths of as many as 300 Mexican citizens, Mr. Holder still refuses to comply.
After years of corrupt, scandalous, and arrogant behavior by the attorney general, the Fast and Furious scandal has finally brought about the circumstance to hold Mr. Holder to account. The members of the House of Representatives will hopefully do not only what is necessary, but what is both right and just, and move to place Eric Holder in contempt.