Attorney General Eric Holder claimed on Tuesday that Republicans continually attack him because they see him as a “proxy” for President Barack Obama.
In an interview with the Washington Post
, Holder claims he has done everything that the GOP legislators, led by House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa, have asked of him concerning the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal — but it is still not enough.
“I’ve become a symbol of what they don’t like about the positions this Justice Department has taken,” he said, citing immigration, voting rights and same-sex marriage.
“I am also a proxy for the president in an election year. You have to be exceedingly naive to think that vote was about . . . documents.
“I’ve been doing all of these things all the time Darrell Issa and his band have been nipping at my heels,” Holder told the Post. “They’ve been nipping, but I’ve been walking.”
The full House held Holder in contempt last week — the first attorney general ever to suffer such a fate. Holder said he has provided Issa’s committee with 7,600 documents but Obama decided shortly before the contempt vote to invoke executive privilege on documents describing internal deliberations.
“I’ve been a line lawyer, and I know what it would mean to think that ‘if I write this, it is going to someday come before a congressional committee,’ ” Holder told the Post.
“It’s a sad indication of where Washington has come, where policy differences almost necessarily become questions of integrity,” he added.
“I came to Washington in the late ’70s, and people had the ability in the past to have intense policy differences but didn’t feel the need to question the other person’s character. And that’s where we are now in Washington with at least one part of the Republican Party. That’s what they do, almost as a matter of course.”
Holder insisted that the contempt vote has not made him consider stepping down. “If anything, it made me more determined to stay and to continue to fight for the things that I think are important,” he said.
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