As former Chairman and 35-year veteran of the House Judiciary Committee, I’ve sought answers to tough questions from both Republican and Democrat-appointed cabinet members. I am not motivated by partisanship, but by truth.  And once again, Eric Holder is hiding from the truth. 

On May 29, Chairman Goodlatte and I sent a letter to Holder which included a list of questions that gave the Attorney General the opportunity to clarify his May 15 testimony to the Judiciary Committee.  Unfortunately, in lieu of a genuine response, he tasked Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik with drafting a defense. 

This is insulting and further proof that the buck doesn’t stop with Attorney General Holder. Not only did the letter come from a low-level staffer at DOJ, not Holder himself, it fails to answer the questions raised by his misleading testimony. 

Here are just a few problems with the Department’s response

“[T]he President has directed the Attorney General to conduct a review of Department policies regarding investigations involving the media.”
Problem: The Attorney General is in charge of investigating himself.

“[T]he Attorney General has initiated a dialogue with new media representatives.” 
Problem: The meeting was off the record and most members of the press declined the invitation.

“[Eric Holder] supports media shield legislation currently under consideration by the Senate.”
Problem: The Administration promoted the legislation in a blatant response to the AP scandal.  Even if it was law, it probably would not have protected AP reporters or James Rosen of Fox News.

“The Attorney General’s testimony before the Committee on May 15, 2013, with respect to the Department’s prosecutions of unauthorized disclosure of classified information was accurate and consistent with these facts.”
Problem:  Only a building full of lawyers can split hairs so finely to argue the Department’s investigation of Rosen did not rise to the level of a potential prosecution.  Every first year law student understands the difference between an investigation and a prosecution, but if the Department’s broad and open-ended warrant of Rosen’s emails was not part of a potential prosecution, then the Department has no regard for the First or Fourth Amendments. 

Congress and the American people deserve an explanation, on the record, from Attorney General Holder. It is clear Eric Holder is dodging accountability and the truth. He is unfit to lead the Department of Justice.