House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today made the following statement on reports that Attorney General Eric Holder is stepping down:
“Eric Holder is the most divisive U.S. Attorney General in modern history and, in a vote supported by 17 Democratic House Members, has the dubious historic distinction of being the first Attorney General held in criminal contempt by the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Chairman Issa. “Time and again, Eric Holder administered justice as the political activist he describes himself as instead of an unbiased law enforcement official. By needlessly injecting politics into law enforcement, Attorney General Holder’s legacy has eroded more confidence in our legal system than any Attorney General before him. Through strong arming reporters, practically ignoring high level wrongdoing, blocking his own agency Inspector General’s access to information, and overseeing a Department that attempted to stonewall Congressional oversight with denials of what is now established fact, Attorney General Holder abused his office and failed to uphold the values of our Constitution. While President Obama and the Senate should work expeditiously to find a replacement, time and care must be taken to ensure that our next Attorney General recognizes and does not repeat Mr. Holder’s mistakes.”
On June 28th, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a bipartisan basis to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to produce Operation Fast and Furious documents subpoenaed the previous year. The parallel civil contempt case is currently before a federal judge.