There has been justifiable outrage regarding the actions of Attorney General Eric Holder throughout his time in office, however the calls for his resignation and the condemnations of Department of Justice investigations have grown exponentially. Below are just a small sampling of quotes that are reactions to Holder or Department of Justice investigations.
Holder told NBC he is uncomfortable with how some of the leak investigations have progressed. Although he approved some of the steps in the investigation, he said:
“Laws and regulations forced his hand and should be changed. "I'm a little concerned that things have gotten a little out of whack...I think we can do a better job than we have.”
Even members of his own party are wary of Holder’s actions, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a member of the Judiciary Committee stated:
“I am very leery about any investigative tool that involves even the appearance of an investigation directed at journalists.”
Republican Representative Peter King of New York., took it a step further on Fox News’ “American Newsroom" Monday:
“If I were Eric Holder, I would resign,” King said. “I don’t see how he remains in office, though, very much longer, since he’s lost so much credibility with Congress and the American people.”
Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist, said what makes the recent criticism different from the Republican-led grilling over Fast and Furious, which was linked to the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, is the bipartisan outcry:
“You're starting to see Democrats join Republicans to call for (Holder's) resignation,” Trippi said. “Whenever you see both sides doing that, it means there's real trouble. It doesn't mean he's in trouble of having to be forced out or resigned yet. It means it's a lot more serious than other events he's had to take on.”
Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren, of California. said earlier this month in regards to the Department of Justice:
“It seems to me clear that the actions of the department have in fact impaired the First Amendment,” “Reporters who might have previously believed that a confidential source would speak to them would no longer have that level of confidence.”
Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, called the collection of call data from Verizon as described in the Guardian report:
“An outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy” in a news release Thursday. “This bulk data collection is being done under interpretations of the law that have been kept secret from the public.
Former Democratic Vice President Al Gore expressed outrage with the practices described in the Verizon phone records scandal:
“In a digital era, privacy must be a priority,” Gore wrote. “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous.”
Calls for Eric Holder to resign are not a recent development. Last year, Senator John Cornyn of Texas on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign in a heated exchange before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It is more with sorrow than regret and anger that I would say that you leave me no alternative, than to join those who call upon you to resign your office,”
”Americans deserve an attorney general who will be honest with them. They deserve an attorney general who will uphold the basic standards of political independence and accountability. You have proven time and time again, sadly, that you’re unwilling to do so. I’m afraid we have come to an impasse… you have violated the public trust, in my view.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia stated:
“I would argue that both in the mishandling of this case and the AP case, the Justice Department has damaged their ability to investigate leaks properly because they haven’t followed the rules, and in this case the attorney general has to answer for it in particular.”
Senator Ted Cruz summed it up best when he said:
Attorney General Holder says he won’t resign until he accomplishes all his goals. I guess there are still some amendments in the Bill of Rights left unviolated….