Congressman Lamar Smith Responds to Attorney General Holder Resignation

I released the following statement in response to news that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning as head of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Of all the executive branch agencies, the Department of Justice is the one that should remain above politics. Yet, President Obama has repeatedly directed Attorney General Holder to ignore and undermine current laws. Under this administration, numerous scandals have plagued the DOJ, including the execution and cover-up of Operation Fast & Furious. I would also be interested to know if Attorney General Holder’s departure is tied to recent court orders demanding that DOJ release documents it has tried to hide behind executive privilege. We can only hope his successor will restore the integrity of the Department of Justice.

Just this past week, a U.S. district judge denied DOJ requests to delay delivery of lists of Operation Fast & Furious documents the Obama administration has been withholding under executive privilege. The department has been ordered to deliver the list of documents no later than October 22nd. Another judge has ordered the release of information to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee no later than November 1st.

In June 2012, I voted to hold the Attorney General in criminal contempt of Congress for his failure to respond to a subpoena issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The contempt of Congress resolution was referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for prosecution. The House also voted to authorize the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to go to court to enforce its subpoena.

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