Members of the House Judiciary Committee aren’t happy with the content of the Department of Justice’s response to their request that Attorney General Eric Holder clarify a potentially false statement he gave during testimony on May 15th.
But they’re even more angry that Holder didn’t answer them directly. Instead, he pawned the task off on a subordinate. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
In an effort to mollify Republican lawmakers who have accused Holder of perjury, Peter J. Kadzik, the principal deputy assistant attorney general, sent a letter to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Virginia’s Robert W. Goodlatte, R-6th, and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis. The letter emphasized that an investigation is different than a prosecution and that any attempt to obtain a search warrant comes before any final decision about prosecution.
Holder, remember, personally signed off on the warrant that listed Fox News reporter James Rosen as an alleged “co-conspirator” in an espionage crime. Under oath, though, he said that “potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material” is “not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”
Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner both responded to Holder’s hand-me-down responsibility with exasperation. Goodlatte wrote:
By having a subordinate send this response rather than Attorney General Holder himself, this response begs the question of whether Holder has something to hide. Discrepancies in Attorney General Holder’s congressional testimony made on the record need to be corrected on the record to Congress by Attorney General Holder himself.
Attorney General Holder still has yet to respond to our letter. He can’t outsource the responsibility for his actions to lower level staff—the buck stops with him.