Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder has become “too much of a lightning rod” for the Obama administration and he should voluntarily step down, Rep. Peter King said on Saturday.
“Eric Holder, on his own, should resign,” the New York Republican told Geraldo Rivera on Fox News. “There are certainly controversies surrounding the attorney general. His latest thing with Fox News and James Rosen. His contradictory testimony.
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“I think he’d be doing everyone a favor, including the president, if he did voluntarily step aside.”
Holder continues to come under increasing criticism for the Justice Department’s decision to obtain the telephone records of editors and reporters at the Associated Press, the 2009 monitoring of electronic communications of Fox reporter Rosen — as well as his May 15 testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that he was not involved in either incident.
News reports have since linked the attorney general to both scandals.
King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Rivera that Holder may have committed perjury during his House testimony, “but I know that perjury can be hard to prove.
“The fact is that a cloud is hanging over him. The fact that he has given so many contradictory signals. I just think he has become too much of a lightning rod.
“On an issue like this, the attorney general and the Justice Department should be above a political fight of this type,” King added, referring to the monitoring of news organizations. “And to restore confidence — and for people to know that this is being treated honestly and directly, Eric Holder would be doing everyone a favor by stepping aside.”
He does not believe that President Barack Obama would seek Holder’s resignation.
“I don’t think the president, absence of a crime, is going to go to Eric Holder and even subtly suggest that he step aside. It’s up to the attorney general to do it.”
What’s most troubling about Holder, King said, is that he appears oblivious about Justice’s targeting of journalists in ferreting out leaks of sensitive information.
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“If you are going to go after reporters, it should be done in such a finely directed way and with so much thought given into it,” King said. “That’s the thing with Eric Holder: It seems like he doesn’t really know how it happened or whether it did. He seems to be almost totally oblivious to what he did.
“Either, he did it intentionally, which I think is wrong, or, secondly, he was indifferent toward it — which, in some ways, is almost as bad.”
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