After disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting cabinet member in U.S. history to be officially held in contempt of Congress, gun-rights activists are now seeking to have Obama’s controversial top law-enforcement officer disbarred for his lawless behavior surrounding the “Fast and Furious” federal gun-running scandal — the scheme to put thousands of weapons in the hands of Mexican cartels that eventually led to Holder being held in contempt for making multiple false statements under oath and defying lawful subpoenas to obstruct a congressional investigation.
While critics say Holder is currently abusing his position as head of the Justice Department to shield himself from prosecution, his opponents are not done trying to rein him in yet. Seeking to have his license to practice law revoked in the wake of growing outrage, two activists who played a crucial role in exposing the deadly Fast and Furious scandal filed an ethics complaint earlier this month with the Office of Bar Counsel’s Board on Professional Responsibility for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Citing the contempt charges against Holder — approved overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives late last month — the complaint alleges that the attorney general violated a series of Bar Association rules and must be investigated. “We, as citizens of the Republic, with an interest in ensuring full accountability for the legal conduct of government officials, feel compelled to issue a formal complaint,” noted David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, bloggers and gun-rights activists who have been deeply involved in exposing the gun-running scandal, in their filing with the Washington, D.C., Bar.
According to the activists, Holder may have even broken numerous rules — and the Bar Association must investigate. Among them: violating or attempting to violate professional conduct regulations; committing a criminal act that reflects poorly on a lawyer; engaging in fraud, dishonesty, or deception; engaging in conduct that interferes with the administration of justice; and several others.
“While District of Columbia courts have not (yet) been involved, there is no question that the Congress has found the Attorney General guilty of contempt under conditions that rise to your definition of ‘serious crime,’” the complaint explains. “It would also appear that Attorney General Holder is required to report the contempt finding to you within the ten day requirement, and that the Bar ‘shall’ investigate this matter.”
The D.C. Office of Bar Counsel did not immediately return a request for comment, but a staff member at the association said the office typically does not either confirm or deny whether an investigation is ongoing.
Discussing the complaint, Vanderboegh, who runs the pro-Second Amendment Sipsey Street Irregulars blog, suggested that he would not be giving up anytime soon. “Eric Holder believes that he will escape serious consequences of the congressional investigations of the Fast and Furious scandal simply by running out the clock on his tenure,” Vanderboegh noted in recent a report. “We intend this ethics complaint to place him on notice that his lies and malfeasances will follow him until justice is done.”
Holder has come under intense public pressure over the last year, with the outcry growing louder as the myriad scandals plaguing his tenure continue to dominate the headlines. Well over 100 members of Congress have already called on the disgraced Attorney General to resign, while others are demanding that he be fired by President Obama. However, Holder stubbornly refuses, lashing out at the media and making hysterical accusations against his critics instead.
The deeply controversial attorney general is also having subordinates defend him in the public arena. “These are specious claims that ignore the facts and can only be described as frivolous,” claimed a spokesperson for Holder’s tainted Department of Justice when asked about the Bar complaint. “It appears to be a desperate attempt by some factions to drag out the destructive, political games that Americans are rightly fed up with."
It was not immediately clear whether “destructive, political games” was a reference to the widely praised congressional investigation into Holder’s role in Fast and Furious and the subsequent cover-up, or whether the spokesman was alluding to the public efforts aimed at holding the attorney general accountable.
Vanderboegh agreed on some points, but had a much different take than the Department of Justice on the matter. “There are political games Americans are rightly fed up with,” Vanderboegh was quoted as saying in response to the DOJ’s comments. “They’re coming from those who place shielding their positions of privilege above finding out the truth, and who are doing everything in their power to discourage an open investigation.”
He pointed out as well that Holder has already been held in contempt. And, as such, the D.C. Bar has a responsibility to conduct an investigation and take action if appropriate. “I also take exception to the accusation that we’re desperate,” Vanderboegh continued. “It’s the Justice Department that’s desperate.”
Meanwhile, during an interview with popular radio host Lou Dobbs, Vanderboegh also indicated that he was following up on other leads that could prove even more damaging to the disgraced attorney general than what has emerged so far. “Eric Holder has much more to worry about than our Bar complaint,” he said.
Some experts suggested that the formal Bar complaint would likely be dismissed because it was written as if Holder had already been convicted of a crime. It might even take a year or more for any serious action — especially because the D.C. association could choose to defer its probe until a widely anticipated civil or criminal proceeding against the attorney general wraps up.
But other analysts indicated that the effort may prove fruitful. "It is clearly a reasonable basis for a complaint against Eric Holder to say 'you are in charge of the Justice Department, the Justice Department is refusing to produce documents that were subpoenaed by Congress and as a result you were held in contempt to Congress not once, but twice,’" Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow in government studies Brian Darling told Fox News.
Meanwhile, the two gun-rights activists also plan to pursue a similar complaint against Holder with the New York State Bar Association. Whether it will lead anywhere is still the focus of debate. But both Codrea and Vanderboegh seemed optimistic.
At least two disgraced former U.S. Presidents — Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon — have lost their law licenses due to involvement in infamous scandals. Clinton’s was revoked after he was caught committing perjury during the Monica Lewinsky affair. Before that, Nixon was disbarred in the wake of Watergate.
Ironically, perhaps, the deadly Fast and Furious scandal — which involved using American taxpayer funds to purchase and transfer high-powered guns to Mexican drug cartels, some of which were later used to murder American law-enforcement agents — has been dubbed the Obama administration’s “Watergate” by countless commentators. Whether anyone will be held accountable for the deadly scheme, however, remains to be seen.
House Votes to Hold Holder in Contempt
Holder Admits Lies in Fast and Furious, Refuses to Resign
“Drug Lords” Targeted in Fast & Furious Worked for FBI
Congress Probes DEA Drug Money Laundering Scheme
At La Raza Summit, Disgraced AG Eric Holder Touts Amnesty & Threatens States
Photo: In this June 12, 2012 file photo, Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington: AP Images