Former GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Wednesday agreed with a prominent House colleague that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had “gone beyond the pale of his office” amid revelations that America’s top lawman personally signed off on investigations involving journalists.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Wis., the second-ranking Judiciary Committee Republican, called for Holder to resign on Tuesday.
“I think when a legal giant like Jim Sensenbrenner, who knows this agency extremely well, says this man has gone beyond the pale of his office, I agree with that,” Ryan told Bill O’Reilly on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor." He stopped short of calling for Holder’s resignation.
Ryan had previously called for the embattled Holder to step down over his botched gun-running scandal, Operation Fast and Furious.
“I have no idea if he is going to resign or not,” said the House Budget Committee chair. “Look, we think what his testimony was before the [House Judiciary Committee] contradicted the actions he made, just like the testimony of the acting commissioner of the IRS contradicted what we now know he knew at the time. We see two instances here where people from the administration came and misled congress.”
Ryan, who also sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is investigating the IRS targeting scandal, said that congressional investigators have begun talking to low-level IRS employees to determine the breadth of the agency’s abuse of power in targeting conservative groups for added scrutiny.
“We're doing this methodically. We’re doing this the right way,” he said. “This is not a partisan witch hunt. This is get to the facts. Get to the truth.”
Ryan expects the IRS investigation to last months and involve two House committees that will be working together.
“This is going to take months,” he said. “I don't know want to put an end date because I don’t know where the facts will take us.”
He added that he also supports House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s subpoena for State Department documents related to the Benghazi attack that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The Obama administration took months to acknowledge that the attack was carried out by terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida.
In the days immediately following the incident, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice went on five Sunday talk shows insisting that the attack was somehow tied to an anti-Muslim video.
“Most Americans don't know the story which is they (the Obama administration) knew right away because of the number two man in charge — Gregory Hicks — said this was a terrorist attack. This had nothing to do with a video,” according to Ryan, who predicted “a big debate” if the Obama administration attempts to invoke executive privilege.
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