Attorney General Eric Holder had a long day on Wednesday. He clashed with a number of no-nonsense lawmakers during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Cruz pressed Holder on the Justice Department’s investigation into the IRS targeting scandal, calling the results of the probe “astonishing.”
Senator Ted Cruz speaks to members of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce during a Leaders in Government luncheon at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth, TX, Friday, January 17, 2014. (Star-Telegram/David Kent)Senator Ted Cruz speaks to members of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce during a Leaders in Government luncheon in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, David Kent)
“In my view, the integrity of the Department of Justice has been severely compromised,” Cruz told Holder. “Predecessors of yours in both parties, Democrat and Republican, when faced with serious charges of abuse of power for partisan gain have made the right decision and appointed special prosecutors.”
“I would call upon you to carry out the tradition of independence that attorneys general have honored that office with for centuries and protect the integrity of the Department of Justice,” he later added. “Given the political sensitivities, given the fact that individual citizens believe they are being persecuted by the federal government for partisan reasons.”
Cruz also made a suggestion that should go without saying. He advised Holder to appoint a special prosecutor who isn’t a major donor to President Barack Obama.
Holder said there isn’t a basis for the DOJ to appoint an independent counsel. He said he has “faith in the career people who are handling this matter.”
Watch part of the exchange below:
Unimpressed, Cruz reminded Holder that not a single person has been indicted 280 days after the inspector general report on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.
“Not a single person. In the 280 days since that inspector general report, it’s been publicly reported that no indictments are planned. Today in this hearing, you were unwilling to answer a question whether even a single victim of targeting has been interviewed,” the Texas senator said.
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing oversight hearing on the Justice Department. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Referring to Justice Department trial lawyer Barbara Kay Bosserman, Cruz asked Holder is he was aware that the “lawyer in charge of this investigation was a major Obama donor.”
“The characterization of this lawyer as the lead lawyer on the case is not correct,” Holder replied. “I don’t know anything about the political activities of any of the people who are involved in this investigation.”
(H/T: Fox Nation)