Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner said the president should fire Eric Holder to “restore faith in the Justice Department” after a House committee began a probe into whether the attorney general committed perjury in testimony before the panel.
The House Judiciary Committee is looking into whether Holder committed perjury during his May 15 testimony on the Justice Department seizure of reporters' communications.
"We never can get any answers out of him," Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. "He said on the subpoenas for the press that he wasn't involved in it, and yet the regulation specifically required approval by the attorney general."
Holder, Sensenbrenner said, was not in control of the Justice Department or "he either misled or lied to committees of Congress as well as to the American people."
At issue are comments Holder made during an exchange with Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia about whether the Espionage Act of 1917 entitles the Justice Department to prosecute reporters.
"In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, this is not something I've ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy," Holder said during the hearing.
But a few days after the hearing, NBC News reported that Holder had personally sanctioned a search warrant labeling Fox News correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in leaking secrets about national security.
"The fact is, is that Congress is entitled to answers. And the only answer that we've gotten is that the administration wants to have a press shield law," said Sensenbrenner. "If it's like the press shield law that they proposed in the last Congress, this would not have covered either the Rosen incident or the AP incident. Who's fooling who?"
When asked where the committee's investigation of Holder will lead, Sensenbrenner said, "It may lead to another contempt citation. It may lead to Mr. Holder coming back and re-testifying and (being) given a chance to clarify the record."
"The fact is, is that he's behind the 8-ball. He is the one that caused this problem. Nobody else did. And he's the one that's going to have to fix it up," Sensenbrenner said. "And if he won't fix it up, the president should fire him."
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