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Posted by: JOHN BRESNAHAN
Sources close to the issue say Holder is staying at the Justice Department into 2014.
GOP Rep. Ted Yoho says a group of House Republicans wants to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder — an action not taken by the chamber in nearly 140 years.
Yoho, a Florida freshman who never held elected office before winning his seat in Nov. 2012, told the Gainesville Sun that the group wants to meet with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to discuss removing Holder from office.
“It’s to get him out of office — impeachment,” Yoho said, according to the Gainesville Sun, adding “it will probably be when we get back in [Washington]. It will be before the end of the year. This will go to the speaker and the speaker will decide if it comes up or not.”
Yoho cited frustration over the botched “Fast and Furious” program – in which federal agents allowed guns to “walk” to Mexican drug cartels as part of an investigation – as one of the main motivations for the impeachment push. That sting operation failed, and weapons tied to the Fast and Furious program were found at the shooting scene when a Border Patrol agent was killed in Dec. 2010.
Omar Raschid, a Yoho spokesman, said Yoho was not actually drafting the impeachment resolution against Holder but declined to say which lawmaker was doing so.
Boehner’s officer declined to comment on the potential Holder impeachment resolution. A Justice Department spokesman also would not comment.
The House approved both civil and criminal contempt resolutions against Holder in June 2012 over his failure to cooperate with congressional subpoenas during the Fast and Furious probe. The Justice Department – as has been done in previous administrations – would not move forward on any criminal charges against Holder. DOJ and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have been locked in a lengthy legal battle as part of the civil contempt fight since that time.
Holder had been rumored to be leaving office after President Barack Obama won reelection to a second term last year, but so far, he is staying put. Sources close to the issue say Holder is staying at the Justice Department into 2014.
Under Article II of the Constitution, the House has the authority to begin impeachment proceedings against the president, vice president, Cabinet members and federal judges over accusations of treason, bribery, ‘or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The Senate then conducts a “trial” with a two-thirds majority needed for conviction.
Only one Cabinet official has undergone impeachment proceedings – Secretary of War William Belknap.
In March 1876, the House impeached Belknap over corruption allegations, despite the fact that the he resigned minutes before the House vote. The Senate held a trial for Belknap, acquitting him on all five charges. Belknap was never prosecuted over the allegations.