Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) today introduced articles of impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder for high crimes and misdemeanors. The resolution outlines the offenses of lying to Congress, refusing to comply with a subpoena, and failing to fulfill his oath of office as crimes committed by Mr. Holder that rise to the level of impeachment. Olson was joined by Reps. Larry Buschon (R-IN), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), David Roe (R-TN), Randy Weber (R-TX), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Roger Williams (R-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL) Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Bill Flores (R-TX), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Sam Johnson (R-TX), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Mike Conaway (R-TX), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) as original cosponsors. The resolution number is H.Res 411.
"For nearly five years, Attorney General Holder has systematically deceived Congress and destroyed the credibility of the Justice Department in the eyes of the American people. During his tenure, Mr. Holder refused to cooperate with a congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious and the resulting death of a Border Patrol agent, refused to prosecute IRS officials who unlawfully disclosed private tax records to third party groups, and misled Congress about his involvement in the investigation of a journalist," Olson said.
"Last year, the House voted to hold Mr. Holder in contempt of Congress, making him the first sitting cabinet member to ever hold this dubious distinction. Still, he continued mislead and thwart congressional efforts to bring the truth to the American people. Mr. Holder has failed to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed and continues to act in a manner unbefitting of a cabinet official. I urge my colleagues to join me in beginning this process by cosponsoring this measure now. The American people deserve answers and accountability,"Olson concluded.
The articles of impeachment lay out four charges against Mr. Holder:
1. Refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on October 12, 2011, seeking information and documents regarding Operation Fast and Furious. This is a violation of 2 U.S.C. 192.
2. Failure to enforce multiple laws, including the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. This is a violation of the oath Mr. Holder swore to "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office" of Attorney General.
3. Refusal to prosecute the IRS officials involved in the targeting and disclosure of tax records belonging to political donors. This is a violation of the oath Mr. Holder swore to "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office" of Attorney General.
4. False testimony under oath before Congress on May 15, 2013, about the Justice Department investigation of journalist James Rosen. This is a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1621.
Mr. Holder's behavior clearly falls under "high crimes and misdemeanors," offenses that the US Constitution explicitly defines as grounds for removal of a Senate-confirmed cabinet official through impeachment. The time is now for the House of Representatives to act with the authority vested in us by the Constitution and remove Attorney General Holder from office.