Holder Rips Disrespectul Republicans
I wrote yesterday that as I tuned in to the end of the Fast and Furious hearing yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder was castigating some Republican who had just questioned him, calling the Republican disrespectful.
Here's the text of Holder's comments in response to some of the questions. Holder isn't the only one who should be disgusted by these Republicans. Everyone should be. Good for Holder for showing some backbone and ripping into them: [More...]
Offender #1: Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y.
“So let me ask it this way: How many more Border Patrol agents would have had to die as a part of Operation Fast and Furious for you to take responsibility?”
Holder's Response :
“You know, I mean, really, is that the way in which you want to be seen, you want to be known? You know, I should be held accountable for, certainly, my role in whatever I did or didn’t do in connection with the supervision of Fast and Furious, but I’m attorney general of the United States and I should also be accountable and perhaps even given some credit — imagine that — given some credit for the things that this Justice Department has done under my leadership, whether it deals with national security, revitalized antitrust, revitalized civil rights enforcement effort. And so one has to balance all of these things.
“I get up every day and try to do the best job that I can. I have great faith in the people who work in the department. And, you know, that kind of question, I think, is, frankly — and again, respectfully — I think that’s beneath a member of Congress,”
Despite the hearing's topic being Fast and Furious, some Republicans took the opportunity to accuse Holder of misconduct concerning the Marc Rich pardon.
Offender #2 Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich.
Walberg blasted Holder for his handling of the Marc Rich pardon and for Holder’s decision to reopen a criminal investigation into abuse and torture of terrorism detainees by CIA operatives and interrogators.
“Given the decision to almost engage in character assassination, I’m going to respond to at least some of that....“I’m the attorney general of the United States. OK? And when it comes to deciding what I’m going to investigate, how I’m going to investigate, I take into account a wide variety of things. The decision I made to open up those CIA matters — and I was aware that this was something that was opposed by a great many people … that investigation has run its course. We are at a point where we are about to close those investigations.”
The prize goes to:
Offender #3: Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. (He's the one Holder was responding to when I tuned in.) Labrador called Holder a liar and incompetent and then "showed the committee a series of statements Holder had made about the Marc Rich pardon."
That was among the worst things I think I’ve ever seen in Congress...You took a whole series of statements out of context, with no context. The Marc Rich thing was considered in my confirmation, talked about it then.
There is a whole bunch of things that I could say about what you just did, and maybe this is the way you do things, you know, in Idaho or wherever you’re from. But understand something. What I’ve done — I’m proud of the work that I’ve done as attorney general of the United States. And looked at fairly– I think that I’ve done, you know, a pretty good job. Have I been perfect? No. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Do I treat the members of this committee with respect? I always hope that I do.
And what you have just done is, if nothing else, disrespectful. And if you don’t like me, that’s one thing, but you should respect the fact that I hold an office that is deserving of respect. And, you know, maybe you’re new to this committee. I don’t know. I don’t know how long you’ve been here. But my hope would be that, you know, we can get beyond that kind of interaction, that kind of treatment of a witness, whether it’s me or somebody else, because I think in some ways what you did was fundamentally unfair, just not right.”
I am hardly a cheerleader for the Department of Justice or its prosecutors, but I'm glad Holder wiped the floor with these low-rent Republicans.
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