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Public Statements

Upholding the Trust of the American People

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, it certainly is a privilege to be able to come to the floor and begin a dialogue, because there's one thing that I think is vital. We could hold up the Constitution, which I often do. We can speak with great eloquence on the floor of the House, even go to our districts and speak to our constituents.

But I do think it is important that the trust of the American people, even though sometimes tattered, sometimes challenged, that what we can at least adhere to are the values of this Nation, the constitutional underpinnings that we all are created equal under the Declaration of Independence and those vital 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, among others, that really go to the trust that the American people have in their government and in their documents that are the infrastructure of government.

And when I say that, I am not in any way diminishing some very emotional debate that we've had over the years. We've engaged in debates on war and peace. We've engaged in debates on impeachment. Tragically, we've seen assassinations of our Presidents. We've seen assassination attempts on our Presidents, and so I know that the issue of trust or the issue of stability sometimes wobbles because it is human nature.

We've seen the tragedy of 9/11. But yet, Americans, by and large, with polls going up and down, will probably be more trustworthy than any other population of people. Why?

Because they have a sense that, even in the midst of vigorous disagreement between the partisans, between Republicans and Democrats and Independents, that there's something that holds America together.

And so I am rising today to try to be able to weave in and out why we must get back to that trust, and why it serves us no purpose to go on an unsubstantiated witch hunt on what is one of the finest public servants that this country has seen, and that is the Attorney General of the United States, Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Now, I will be discussing a number of items because, in the course of this discussion, I realize that some will agree and some will not. But minimally, what I would like to ensure is that we have a forthright and truthful discussion. That's really what is key.

I base that upon being a battle-worn member of the House Judiciary Committee for any number of years. I have ascended to the position where you are called a senior member of the Judiciary Committee. And in the course of my work there, I have seen investigations that are far and wide.

I lived through the horrific heinousness of 9/11, and having to craft something called the Patriot Act, which still needs to be challenged, and we need to err on the side of the rights of the American people.

I have seen the investigation of the tragedy of Waco. Many people might not even remember that, the terrible loss of life.

I've seen the throngs pulling a child, a Cuban child, between families--Elian Gonzales.

I've seen the ups and downs of immigration and the debate about where we should go on immigration reform.

I have seen the issues of impeachment and attempts on impeachment, trying to uphold civil rights, trying to write a Patriot Act--which came out of the Judiciary Committee right after 9/11, in our most vulnerable time--in a bipartisan way that balanced the rights of Americans alongside of the responsibilities that we had to secure America.

I have seen the fight for individual rights, and I'd like to think that when it comes to that challenge, that when you look at the record that I have offered, you have seen a record that prizes individual rights.

So I do not believe that it is of any value, no matter what party you're in, to be in a coverup. Coverups usually wind up with the covers being taken off, and so there's not really much advantage to a coverup.

But I want to discuss, away from the aura of cameras and hysteria, the work of a public servant that I've known for a number of years. Having come to this Congress a few years ago, I remember that Attorney General Holder not only worked for Democratic Presidents, but also worked for Republican Presidents.

In fact, George Bush II held Mr. Holder as his Acting Attorney General, or Deputy Attorney General, which is the highest ranking under the Attorney General. The view of him as an unbiased figure allowed him to be, in essence, that bridge between administrations.

He has served as a judge. He has been a prosecutor. He has likewise, prosecuted those who would do Americans harm. He is a son, if you will, of those who struggled to overcome.

And he had the honor of being appointed, named as President Clinton's Deputy Attorney General, the first African American to be so named.

He pulled himself up by his bootstraps, having graduated from Columbia College, as he's so proud of, in New York, attended the public schools, even schools that I'm familiar with--some of my friends graduated from Stuyvesant High School--where he earned something that was very much sought after in those times, a Regents Scholarship. That allowed him to attend Columbia College, where he majored in American history, and he graduated from Columbia law school.

He is not one to accept your challenge of the affection he has for his college and his law school.

He had a sense of desire to do good. And in those times, one of the premiere civil rights law firms was the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. No, it is not the NAACP. This is a lawyers' group that would defend you, no matter who you were.

In fact, I remember Constance Baker Motley, out of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, defending the Klan in Alabama, because it is the motto and mission of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund that if your rights are abridged, no matter who you are, we will stand up for those rights.

And so he started there, with a very refined sense of right and wrong and who should be defended, and wound up at the Department of Justice as what you call a line lawyer, Criminal Division.

And then he joined, previously, I guess, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General's Honors Program. He was assigned to the public integrity section, was tasked to investigate and prosecute official corruption, local, State and Federal levels.

Some might say, when you saw Eric coming, you wanted to get out of the way. That was his sense of justice, balanced and fair, attacking those who were doing wrong to our system of justice and fairness, and yes, going after corruption in local, State and Federal government.

Those were many years since 1976, and if I would take a guess, if he were going to falter in the practice of law, or in the upholding of justice, he would have faltered a long time ago.

Sorry, Mr. Attorney General, but you have been around for a long time; 1976 is a long time. In fact, if I recall correctly, 1976 was in the midst of when President Carter was coming in and after President Ford had served. So he has seen both Republican and Democratic administrations, and he has passed muster by his superiors. He's climbed up the ladder. He served in private business and private practice. He's not a new kid on the block.

I had the chance to be with his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, one of the premier physicians in this community, who has her own legacy, as well as the legacy of her sister, who was one of those who integrated the universities in Alabama during the segregated South. But the interesting thing about Eric is that he does not come with a sense of entitlement, which I don't like even using that word, because if you fix something that is broken, if you try to integrate because it is segregated, that is not entitlement. If you try to ensure someone has an opportunity, it is not negative when you say affirmatively you want to make sure that there is diversity. But Eric takes life as he sees it. And so it baffled me when we were proceeding through this process.

Somebody said bad things come in threes. I don't want to start that because I'm hoping we don't have any threes coming along. I've got to get on an airplane in a couple of minutes.

But I would say to you that I would like the answer to some of the questions. Obviously, Benghazi falls in the State Department. But we've certainly had the misfortunes of the IRS. I want to clarify that the IRS falls independently. The Commissioners are appointed on a 6-year term so that they do not have the political influence of a Presidential appointment. But their ultimate oversight is through the Secretary of the Treasury under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Certainly, that investigation is going forward at this time. But it seems like all of that was piling on someone who was not directly involved: Benghazi and the IRS.

But let's get to the one that has drawn the most ire, rightly so. Let me temper that because I know that the IRS is drawing a great deal of ire. I've come to the floor and indicated that there are a lot of good, hardworking employees. Maybe you know some of them. Our colleagues see these people in our districts. They're working every day to ensure that the American people, who pay them, who own all of this in the United States Government, are treated fairly. I know there are people like that. But certainly, we are absolutely outraged about any prosecuting in a biased way for political beliefs. That is an absolute, unpardonable sin, if you will, under the First Amendment. We've all agreed to that. We want a full investigation. And I can assure you if any parts of the Department of Justice are involved in a criminal investigation, if it is discovered--and we have an Inspector General under the IRS--you can be assured that the Department of Justice will be involved in determining whether any criminal activities have gone on as relates to the IRS.

But what has drawn the most ire--and it should--is the precious press and the right to be told what is going on. Again, with a little bit of humor, I will tell you that those of us in the public eye really like that press story that says that we're cutting a ribbon for something that has been given from the Federal Government or making the grand speech that someone will quote that was most erudite and astute.

But the press should be unfettered because it is the right of the American people to know what is going on in their government, no matter what level it is, from the

school board to the county clerk to the statehouse to the city government and to your Federal Government. Maybe, to the chagrin of many who are found out in the press, we understand.

So when it is suggested that the Department of Justice would violate that sacred trust of blocking information to the American public, then obviously there is an enormous amount of concern. And I understand that. And I think it is enormously important to lay out this whole question of the Fox reporter, the gentleman who has been working on a number of projects, and the whole idea of the release of the emails of the Associated Press, or the targeting of them, and the targeting of one particular individual, Mr. Rosen of Fox News, and the May 15 hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, at which I was present.

I wanted to speak of what I know. One of the questions I raised, just a yes-or-no answer, was whether Mr. Holder had been a supporter of what we call the Shield Act in his professional career, a bill that had been supported by many of us in the last session, or before, and that is to block or protect reporters and their proprietary information under the First Amendment. And for some reason, my good friends on the other side of the aisle, Republicans, did not see fit for that legislation to pass.

So here we are in a set of circumstances that speaks ill of anyone that would target a reporter or this enormous leak of emails. All of this is being reviewed. But I want to focus on Attorney General Holder and the very excellent Attorney General that he had in charge. He did not participate in the ultimate investigation and the determination for the ultimate subpoenas regarding the AP. It was done after some 15,000 pages of documents were issued, and they still could not determine how the leak, where the leak, or who would be the culprit of the leak. This is pertaining to issues that would have a detrimental impact on the security of the American people.

So let me be very clear: it was not the reporters. It was to find out who was, for lack of a better term, the leaker. And, yes, those are sources. That's the angst of the people; the lawyers entrusted with your protection in the Department of Justice. There is no doubt Congress has a right to restrain it, for you elect us in the people's House to make sure that you are protected from that kind of intrusion. But let it be very clear that the intrusion was not to entrap reporters. It was to ensure us that we were protecting the American people.

So all of a sudden the Attorney General is in the hot seat. He recused himself from further investigation. A number of questions were posed in that May 15 hearing. And one of the questions posed was seeking a clarification about different laws but also asking the question about allowing for reporters to be prosecuted. I have a paraphrasing but a fair handle on the answer of the Attorney General. In fact, if you can pay attention to newspaper accounts to precisely see if this is correct:

With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure material, that is not something I have ever been involved in--heard of--or think would be a wise policy.

The active word is ``potential'' prosecution--prosecution.

Yes, there was an FBI affidavit used to obtain the warrant for Rosen's emails, and there was probable cause--and this was in 2010--to determine whether any law had been broken. Yes, that was done. The affidavit did describe this reporter, by way of reports, as an aider and abettor and/or coconspirator. But the Justice Department did not prosecute Mr. Rosen, did not even file charges against him while he was listed as a coconspirator. No charges were ever raised against him. No charges were pulled back. No acquittal. No prosecution.

So the answer of the Attorney General was accurate. To the extent that anyone would suggest that he perjured himself is absolutely without context, without substance, without basis, without intent, without proof, and it serves no purpose. It serves no purpose.

From all of that, and of course some time back the tragedy of Fast and Furious--and whenever I come to the floor I offer my deepest sympathy for the lost and for the family who suffered an enormous loss of their great and wonderful son. There is nothing that one can say to bring back their son.

I have no quarrel with getting to the facts. But again, in Fast and Furious, none of it pointed back, by independent arbiters. This had to do with the misdirected--probably with good intentions--but misdirected and cruel results of putting guns in the hands of thieves and crooks to be able to track guns and gun trafficking between the United States and Mexico. I will not defend it. I am not here to defend that. I was appalled. But I think we must have a reasonable discussion of truth. And the reasonable discussion of truth is: Did Mr. Holder have anything to do with the mishaps of Fast and Furious? I can assure you that they have yet to point to him on that basis.

Eric Holder came to the Department and he took up the challenge, in these words, of his mission, that his challenge would be protecting the security, rights, and interests of the American people. More than 4 years later, together with the extraordinary men and women who serve at the Department of Justice, that promise has been fulfilled for many of the accomplishments that this Department has achieved.

Now, my good friend was on the floor, my good friend--and he is, Mr. Smith of New Jersey. He has a passion for preventing, among other things, human trafficking. We work together on these issues.

Eric Holder has been a crusader to fight against the viciousness of human trafficking. He has, in fact, set up a task force in my own city of Houston, which, to our dismay, has been known as the epicenter of human trafficking of young people, prostitution, individuals coming up to the southern border. One of the most debasing parts of an existence is to be taken hostage--bondage--by someone else to be abused and mistreated. So he has been enormously committed, passionately committed to the idea of preventing human trafficking, and we look forward to working with him.

He wanted to save you money. And they've had a very successful reach on financial fraud, setting up a Consumer Protection Working Group consisting of Federal law enforcement regulatory agencies, making sure that those who attack the vulnerable with payday loans and the elderly know that the Justice Department is standing on their side. And the very ones that go after Active Duty military--how sad, young people coming home from faraway places and all of a sudden they are victimized, the resources that they have that are limited.

The lawsuit that was filed against mortgage fraud that took this country down, took homes away from those who deserved them, the billion dollar lawsuit against Countrywide led by this Department of Justice.

Banking houses, various inappropriate behavior by some on Wall Street, General Holder was not afraid, on behalf of the American people. And countless banking officers who took money, such as some of those whose names include Carollo and Goldberg and Grimm, all former executives of General Electric, were sentenced related to bidding for contracts for the investment of municipal bond proceeds and other municipal finance contracts, which would undermine not only the public trust--remember, that's how it started--but it would also diminish the assets.

It was this Justice Department that continued the prosecution of the Madoff brothers, Peter Madoff, on June 29, 2012, one of the most--oh, my God, I would use the word ``sad,'' but that is certainly not a strong enough word, but I did use the word ``tsunami''--one of the most catastrophic attacks on people who innocently invested with someone who they thought would maximize their savings for the good ol' days of their sunset years.

He continued to secure justice for victims of mortgage fraud. He worked on a number of issues regarding servicemembers. And, what I think was particularly important, what you wanted him to do, is he

went after international cartels, domestic collusion conspiracies, price fixing, bid rigging, market and customer allocation. He was, along with his team, committed to serving the American people.

I see my colleague is here, and I just want to mention a few others before I yield to her. Because, as I mentioned, his passion for people's lives is so moving that I need to get this on the record.

The Department has charged a record number of human trafficking cases. I gave you the story, but I didn't give you the facts. Over the past 4 years, the Department has increased the number of human trafficking prosecutions by more than 30 percent in forced labor and adult sex trafficking cases, while also getting a number of convictions in the Innocence Lost National Initiative dealing with our children. So the Department has dismantled trafficking with Ukrainian victims held in Philadelphia in false labor; Central American women, convicting the traffickers who threatened and violently abused them to compel them into forced labor and forced prostitution in restaurants and bars on Long Island. Or, we restored the rights and freedom of the undocumented--I like to say ``we'' because this is close to my heart--of Eastern European victims, convicting the trafficker of brutally exploiting them in massage parlors in Chicago; a Florida man, his wife and a codefendant for actions involving sex trafficking of seven minor victims in a house in Fort Lauderdale; and secured a life sentence against a gang member in the Eastern District of Virginia for sex trafficking of victims as young as 12 years old.

Eric Holder has not been sitting around trying to construct when he would come to Congress and perjure himself. That has not been his task and his challenge.

Let me just say this, as there is a lot that I want to engage in. I'll just throw this out before I yield. Our violent crime rates have yielded, maybe because we see someone like the old movies about the FBI G-Men, maybe we see the ``H-Man'' coming in Eric Holder, for he has prosecuted thousands of criminals with illegal gun possessions. That does you harm. That does your children harm.

I want to just say this to my distinguished colleague--as I yield to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton--when the American people needed to have an unfettered voting system, yes, many disagreed. But Eric Holder and his team in the Civil Rights Division have not been overturned. They were following the law.

We do expect a Supreme Court decision in a matter of days on section 5. I cannot predict what that decision will be. But there were a number of decisions that had to do with ensuring that there was one person, one vote.

Remember I started by saying, whether we agree or disagree, there should be something called trust. Many people would say to me, one person's trust is another person's poison. But it's all about the law. This Justice Department has been following the law. It is crucial that when we use a litmus test to be able to determine whether someone should resign--and by the way, General Holder, do not resign, America needs a top law enforcement officer of integrity--then the standard should be the law, the standard should be the Constitution, the standard should be the facts, the standard should be case law on the Voting Rights Act and redistricting cases and election law. The majority of the cases--the infrastructure of the cases that have been upheld--have been led by Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States of America.

I would be privileged to yield some time to the distinguished scholar--and she happens to be a Congressperson of the great District of Columbia--Eleanor Holmes Norton. Thank you for your leadership and scholarship on constitutional issues.

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Ms. JACKSON LEE. I am so glad that you raised that point, because we do not want to suggest that a layman's ears are different from a lawyer's ears, but that is a very important point which you have made.

The frustration is that, on your committee, there are many lawyers. You have lawyers who are investigators, particularly on the majority side. They understand what that concept is, which is that, when you have an indictment, you list names, and those names may be listed as coconspirators. To take that and then translate it into a layman's interpretation--oh, this person is going to be prosecuted--and to then suggest that the Attorney General perjured himself in front of the Judiciary Committee, where he said outright, I have no thought of prosecuting a reporter, and that wouldn't even come to mind, and to take the FBI affidavit which listed--in 2010, by the way, and I think this is 2013--the gentleman, Mr. Rosen, as a coconspirator and that nothing has happened since then, it is almost, I believe, an unfair treatment, an unfair misrepresentation, an unfair mischaracterization for the American people. The Attorney General made it clear in his testimony before our committee, I have no interest, no desire, no knowledge of prosecuting a reporter.

I just want to add, in addition, that we've just introduced a House bill that is similar to the Senate bill that has judicial intervention now, a sort of ramped-up SHIELD Act, which indicates that you would have to go to the courts in certain circumstances to secure some of the information of the press; but there is this distortion as he was questioned on May 15, 2013, and in 3 years, Mr. Rosen has never been indicted, and he has never been prosecuted.

Ms. NORTON. I must say I thank the gentlelady from Texas for that clarification. Not only that, the Justice Department has issued a statement to the effect it has no intent and never has had any intent of prosecuting the coconspirator as is the case and as has been the case for 100 years of the listing of coconspirators.

Just a moment more on this important matter. You mentioned that my committee has a lot of lawyers, like you and me. Your committee is the Judiciary Committee. I surely would have expected more of it than the way they've gone at the Attorney General.

On this matter of the AP reporters, of the AP-Rosen matter, the Attorney General recused himself. I'm not sure why he recused himself, but I imagine it is because, if you're looking for a leak and if you're doing a thorough investigation, you look from the top to the bottom. So, once he'd been questioned just as a President could be questioned, then, of course, he did the right thing, if that's the reason, by recusing himself. But when it came to the Rosen matter, which is simply signing off on the prosecutorial information--a routine ceremonial matter--there was nothing contradictory about that and his statement that he had no knowledge of the prosecution. He had recused himself. Having recused himself, he'd better not have any knowledge of it.

These are fine points we are making, and I'm afraid, for many in the public, they are fine points because, as the gentlelady says, most people are not trained as lawyers, and if they are, they don't want to hear lawyer talk; but these are really important questions if you want to accuse somebody of something.

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Ms. JACKSON LEE. I am so grateful for your leadership.

I am going to conclude, and have some further comments; but before you yield, I just want to pose a question to you, Congresswoman, because, if nothing else, we can both agree together so it won't look like one person is saying it.

For an officer of the court, for the highest ranking law officer of the United States, the American people need to understand that the charge of perjury is one of the most devastating charges. Forget about your career, because all of us who are barred, who are members of the bar, are officers of the court--of all courts. Some are able to practice in the Supreme Court, in various Federal courts and otherwise, and as an officer of the court, even in the representation of your client, perjury is the ultimate charge.

That is why I'm so baffled and felt compelled to come to the floor to raise the question of why lawyers on the Oversight Committee and lawyers on the Judiciary Committee would even offer a charge of perjury under the circumstances of what I have just defined.

Let me just say this. In a letter to the Judiciary Committee, the Attorney General said:

The Attorney General takes the disclosure of classified information by those who have committed to protecting it very seriously, especially as such disclosures can cause grave damage to our national security.

The Attorney General also has the utmost respect for the vital role the media plays in an open society.

Then it goes on to talk about his commitment to protecting these vital sources. Then it goes on to again restate this whole question of investigation versus prosecution. It says:

At the outset, it is important to note the difference between an investigation and a prosecution.

And it goes on to lay out probable cause again. That's lawyer talk.

But it is very clear that the General wants to lay out for the Members of Congress in an open way--by the way, I don't know if we could both stand up here and count how many side meetings and staff meetings that they had with the Attorney General on the gun walkings, what we call Fast and Furious, and now the meetings and letters that are going back, the ongoing contempt charge issue that is going on. This Attorney General has made himself available.

The real question I just want to pose to you, as I yield for your answer, is what it means to be charged with perjury as an officer of the court. What General, what lawyer would take it lightly--though some generals have gone to jail for perjury--that has been proven in a court of law?

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Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentlelady for her knowledge, and I thank the gentlelady for laying out something that, as you said, non-lawyers would say, We're going too much. But I think they understand when you have a role as given to you by the bar license and a role that you would not play with lightly--but I think the other point is, as I told you, I didn't want to highlight Mr. Holder's tenure. But he's been around since 1976. Let me just say that he's had many times to disabuse this officer role, and he has not done so because of his integrity.

I'm glad you mentioned now National Security Adviser Rice and use that as an example. Let me congratulate her and use that as an example of a very fine public servant and outstanding diplomat. In this instance, there is not a morsel of evidence that she would manipulate the Benghazi talking points. What an enormous tragedy. Who would want to see our fallen diplomats lose their lives and their families? Let me just say this: We want the truth, but we also juxtapose that as something to suggest that let us hold our words until we know what the facts are.

I just want to say very quickly that all of what you've heard us discuss is what has been absorbing the time of a place that should be talking about making right on the Affordable Care Act.

Now, I know that thousands in California are just getting rebates back because of the Affordable Care Act. I know that small businesses are getting dollars back because of the Affordable Care Act. I know that seniors are now getting preventive care because of the Affordable Care Act, children are getting preventive care, women are getting preventive care; but you're only hearing the bad news. Why? Because we're too busy making charges about perjury. I would rather you have the testimony. Let's have hearings to get people to come forward to tell America how the Affordable Care Act is making it better for them.

Let me tell you what else we're not taking any time to do because we're suggesting that the Attorney General--with no evidence whatsoever--is perjuring himself. In a couple of days, the parents of America, the children of America will be facing a 6.8 percent increase in the interest rates that our children will have to pay who are now coming out as 2013 graduates. But we're talking about General Holder, about whom I've given you a list. He has been a fighter against consumer fraud, human trafficking and crime, and there's been no evidence of perjury.

Instead of us meeting to have a compromise, to prevent the clock from ticking on July 1 and kicking up the interest rates--this is a nightmare. If you want to see a nightmare, go from $4,174 to $10,109. That was the bill that was passed by our Republican friends, and then the automatic increase is $8,000. This is what our young people are going to be feeling the brunt of as they're trying to pay for college loans. Could we get together and work on that? I think we could.

Then, of course, we have heard dead silence about what we're going to do about reasonable gun legislation. I hope the lights of the Chamber don't turn off or the sound go out because it looks as if we're trying to take away guns. No. Every one of us holds up the banner of the Second Amendment. What we're saying is can we at least know who has them.

There are some who are putting forth mental health laws. I am a strong supporter of it. Let us help individuals who are suffering; but at the same time with regards to automatic weapons of any kind, there needs to be, minimally, closing the gun show loophole. And then those who are far more sophisticated than what these pictures may show, from my perspective, the kind that was used in Sandy Hook, we can do better as the American people.

Maybe we can also do something that we can all come together on. What about a simple gun storage law, you know? We don't have it. And there is a series of children that have killed their siblings or their grandparents or their parents by having a gun lying around not locked, because there's no law, no requirement. Some States have it. We've done it and done a good job in bringing down that loss of life in Texas.

I'll be introducing legislation. I've been working with the General and the Department of Justice to ensure that we find a good balance. But there's a lot of work.

Sequestration is literally closing down teachers and child care units and cutting off civilians at military bases and stopping ICE enforcement officers and Customs and Border Protection and numbers of others are put on furlough because of sequestration.

Couldn't we get rid of H.R. 19? It says eliminate sequestration, go back to the budget or at least go to conference and treat the American people with respect so the services that you need are not shut down because of sequestration.

Why are we talking about perjury from the top legal officer where there has been no proven evidence that anything that he said in the Judiciary Committee was contradictory to what happened to Mr. Rosen? There's no proof. He recused himself. He's not involved. There's no indictment, no intention of indictment on the premise of what this particular issue was about, the leakage of national security matters.

And so my plea today is that we can do better. We can do better by our youngsters. In essence, we can stop the bleeding. We can do better by our children for health care. We can do better by better gun laws. We can do better by getting a better budget. We can do better by serving the American people. We can do better by building you new roads and bridges and infrastructure, fixings the dams, stopping the flooding.

All I want to say, Mr. Speaker, as I close, and I thank you, is to thank you, Mr. Holder, for your service. Do not resign. And to my colleagues, let's get to work to help the American people. I believe that will in fact be our finest hour.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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