A coalition of Republican lawmakers formally introduced Articles of Impeachment against Obama’s disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder (shown), who stands accused of perpetrating multiple high crimes and misdemeanors. The widely anticipated measure to force the Justice Department boss into early retirement — and potentially open him up to criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress — argues that Holder refused to comply with congressional subpoenas on “Fast and Furious” gun-running, lied under oath to lawmakers about targeting journalists, has failed to uphold his oath of office, and more.
Introduced by Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) late last week, the measure outlines a litany of crimes allegedly committed by the Obama administration’s chief law enforcement officer. According to news reports, at least 20 other GOP lawmakers have signed on so far. Before the Articles of Impeachment were introduced, over 130 members of Congress had also joined a resolution calling on Holder to step down from his post. That measure came in the wake of a successful, bi-partisan push to hold the attorney general in civil and criminal contempt, the latter being punishable by jail time.
“For nearly five years, we have witnessed Mr. Holder repeatedly deceive Congress and degrade the credibility of the Justice Department in the eyes of the American people,” lawmakers wrote in a memo cited in media reports. “Last year, the House of Representatives took the unprecedented step of holding Mr. Holder in contempt of Congress, making him the first sitting cabinet official ever to hold this distinction.” For now, the attorney general has escaped prosecution because the Justice Department he leads refuses to prosecute its own boss.
However, in the memo, lawmakers argue that the lawlessness has only continued, and that Congress and the American people can no longer tolerate it. “Unfortunately, Mr. Holder has continued to act in a manner unbefitting of a cabinet official; he has failed to perform his constitutional duties and violated the law on a number of occasions,” a group of resolution co-sponsors wrote. “The House of Representatives should not stand by as he continues to undermine the office of Attorney General.”
The resolution includes four separate articles that lawmakers say merit impeachment of the attorney general on behalf of Congress and the American people. “Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and should be removed from office and disqualified to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States,” the resolution says after outlining each specific allegation. If the House votes to impeach, Holder must also be convicted by the Senate.
The first charge deals with the Obama administration’s arming of Mexican cartels and the ongoing cover-up — especially Holder defying a congressional subpoena obligating him to hand over documents about the scheme to Congress. The second article focuses on his failure to uphold U.S. laws, including the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and federal drug-prohibition statutes. Article III highlights Holder’s disregard for his oath of office, as exemplified by his failure to prosecute IRS officials who targeted conservatives. The final article deals with Holder’s lies, under oath, surrounding the Justice Department’s targeting of journalists.
Rep. Olson, who introduced the resolution and is reportedly leading the impeachment charge in the House, told various media outlets that he did not make the decision lightly. “Since the House voted in 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the pattern of disregard for the rule of law and refusal to be forthright has continued,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the attorney general refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action.”
Co-sponsor Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) also released a statement about the effort, saying it was “unfortunate” that the matter had reached this point, but that Holder left Congress with no other option. Despite being held in contempt, DesJarlais said, the attorney general has “continued to show an utter disregard” for his oath. “It seems Mr. Holder has confused his job to enforce the law with a permission to disobey it,” the congressman said, citing perjury before Congress and defying subpoenas.
“The conduct displayed by the attorney general would lead to criminal charges being filed against any other American. Mr. Holder should not receive special consideration solely based on his title,” noted Rep. DesJarlais, a medical doctor. “President Obama has shown time and time again he is unwilling hold anyone in his administration responsible for their actions. This sends the troubling message that he is either complicit in these wrongdoings or feels his administration is unaccountable to the American people – both of which are unacceptable.”
Incredibly, especially considering the historic nature of the impeachment effort and the seriousness of the allegations against Holder, the establishment media has remained almost completely silent about the resolution after it was introduced. While a few so-called “mainstream” press outlets covered the explosive news early last week when Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) first revealed the upcoming push, it appears that only MSNBC and Fox News reported on the fact that articles of impeachment had been formally introduced. The deafening silence is particularly bizarre considering that one of the allegations deals with Holder’s lawless targeting of a journalist and his subsequent lies about it.
Among the most serious offenses detailed in the resolution is Holder’s ongoing attempt to unlawfully cover up incriminating information about the federal “Fast and Furious” plot. The Obama administration program, which put thousands of high-powered weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, has been one of the most explosive scandals to rock the administration — a remarkable feat considering the seemingly never-ending parade of major scandals that have plagued Obama since his inauguration.
First exposed by ATF whistleblowers after dead bodies started piling up — including the murder of U.S. law enforcement officers and hundreds of Mexicans — the scandalous operation involved arming criminal syndicates in Mexico under the guise of an “investigation.” Documents later revealed that the drug lords allegedly being “investigated” were already on the federal government’s payroll and could not be prosecuted. Other official documents also exposed an administration plot to exploit the resulting violence in a bid to assault American gun rights — a ploy that had long been suspected by lawmakers and investigators.
In a half-baked response to the serious allegations of criminal activity, Holder brushed it all off with more wildly inaccurate falsehoods, deceptively attempting to portray the impeachment push as “meaningless partisan” politics stemming merely from differences of opinion. “To the extent that there are concerns about policy differences that I might have with certain members of Congress, I'm not certain that rises to the level of impeachment,” the attorney general was quoted as saying, adding that he is not devoting much time to the “allegations.”
While trying to deflect attention from the building impeachment effort, Holder is simultaneously battling to escape justice on yet another front. According to news reports, the attorney general is seeking to get his contempt case heard before an appeals court after a federal judge refused to dismiss it, but before any final rulings are issued in the case. In other words, Holder and the administration are hoping the courts will help them continue avoiding accountability and defying the American people’s representatives in Congress.
Of course, some Democrats have publicly opposed the impeachment effort. However, the opposition to the move, like the establishment press, has been largely quiet as well, perhaps hoping to avoid drawing any extra attention to the historic resolution. With the movement to impeach Obama himself growing louder from the halls of Congress to highway overpasses, though, trying to avoid further public scrutiny is unlikely to succeed in the long term. The ball is now in House Speaker John Boehner’s court, and the clock is ticking.
Photo of Attorney General Eric Holder: AP Images
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at