Attorney General Eric Holder says he will resign as soon as his successor is confirmed, and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert says Holder needed to go a long time ago for politicizing every issue from Fast and Furious to the fight against radical Islam.
Holder is one of the longest-serving attorneys general in U.S. history and has hinted at retirement several times in recent years. His tenure is one of the most controversial in history, with Holder drawing fire on issues ranging from civil rights to the treatment of reporters and the level of cooperation with Congress to the intensity with which he investigated issues embarrassing to the Obama administration.
For most conservatives, there are no tears at Holder’s departure.
“I’ve made no bones about it. I felt like he needed to be impeached. He lied to Congress. He’s just a guy that needed to be gone,” said Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and a former judge in Texas.
“The attorney general is supposed to be the highest-ranking law enforcement officer, not the highest-ranking blocker and tackler for the president. It seems like his whole term as attorney general he has been covering for the White House and covering for his own department,” said Gohmert, who believes Holder’s legacy will be a dubious one.
“He will have been successful in keeping facts that in some cases will lead to crimes being able to be proved that were committed. He’s covered ’em up. He’s kept ’em covered up. We’ve never had an attorney general that flaunted the law this much,” he said.
While Gohmert is thrilled to see Holder leave, he is a bit suspicious about the timing.
“Because of the timing, I can’t help but wonder if this is the president’s attempt to change the subject from the horrors that Obamacare has caused to people’s health care and the dismal economy and the world falling apart because of this president’s foreign policies or lack thereof,” he said.
Gohmert says there are many issues throughout Holder’s time as attorney general that trouble him greatly. One is his role in Operation Fast & Furious, a plan designed to smuggle guns to Mexican drug cartels with the purported purpose of tracking the guns to the cartels and helping Mexican authorities break them up.
Instead, the government lost track of the guns, which were subsequently used in the murders of hundreds of Mexican citizens and U.S. Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry. Gohmert says Holder’s stonewalling of the congressional investigation is inexcusable.
“Fast and Furious should have had all the details come out years ago, but he has completely thwarted those materials coming out to the public. He has been in contempt and is, as I speak to you, in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena for documents,” said Gohmert, referring to the June 2012 vote to make Holder the first person in his position ever held in contempt of Congress.
However, of all the issues on which he’s battled with Holder, Gohmert says one stands out from all the others.
“One that is very troubling to me is his lack of investigation and enforcement of the laws of the land as it pertains to radical Islam,” he said, asserting, among other things, that the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing could and should have been prevented.
“The FBI under his watch got a heads-up from Russia that (Tamerlan) Tsarnaev had been radicalized. As best I can tell, they didn’t do anything but talk to Tsarnaev and talk to his mom and said, ‘Well, They say he’s not radical so we’re OK.’ If Holder’s department had done a proper job, the Boston bombing would not have had to have occurred,” said Gohmert.
While his criticism of Holder on the issue of radical Islam started with the Boston bombing, it certainly doesn’t end there.
“Rather than investigate (radical Islam), they partnered with them. They had community outreach programs with them. They still have those programs. They have been responsive to CAIR’s and ISNA’s demands. Federal courts have found that those two organizations are fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islam,” he said.
“[Holder]’s been helping to lead the charge to support and be sensitive to what these supporters of radical Islam want him to do. I think that is going to reap benefits for radical Islam for the future, until we have a president that’s serious about going after them and not just bombing some empty buildings when nobody’s there,” said Gohmert.
As for Holder’s successor at the Justice Department, Gohmert says he has some very simple criteria.
“I don’t just hope. I hope and pray that this president will appoint somebody who will help bring America together, that will be completely color-blind and religious-blind in their approach to justice, unlike this attorney general. I hope he will appoint somebody that really cares about enforcing the law fairly across the board for everybody. If he does that, I will think it is fantastic,” said Gohmert.
Does the congressman believe that will happen?
“I don’t know,” he said, soberly. “That’s my hope and prayer and I’m not giving up hope on it.”