Attorney General Eric Holder says he'll "certainly" stay in his job well into 2014, despite calls from House Republicans to impeach him, as he has many investigations and prosecutions to handle through that time.
"If you had asked me that six months ago, I'm not sure I would have given you that answer," Holder said in a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Post
Holder says he "probably would have come up with a shorter time frame," but now, "given the issues that I want to focus on and given the condition that they're in, I think that staying into 2014 is necessary, but also something that I want to do.
One of the main ongoing investigations is a comprehensive review by the Justice Department of all criminal cases where the government used evidence gathered through warrantless surveillance. Some of the defendants will be contacted as the reviews continue where appropriate, said Holder, so "they can make their own determinations about how they want to react to it."
Holder also said that the prosecution of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will also keep him on the job. He told The Post that he will decide by mid-January whether to seek the death penalty against the 20-year-old, and will review recommendations by Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. attorney in Boston; a Justice Department review committee and other experts while making the decision.
"At the end of the day, it’s going to be me with a large stack of paper . . . sitting at my kitchen table while everybody else in my house has gone to sleep," Holder said. "And over the course of a few days, I will sit down and make the determination.
"It’s the single most weighty thing I do as attorney general," Holder said.
Holder also said the DOJ is also trying to bring National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden back to the United States on charges of violating the federal Espionage Act, indicating that the DOJ is not planning to prosecute former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, one of the first to report about the leaked documents.
However, while Holder wants to stay at least another year, he may not have that choice. On Thursday, a group of 20 Republicans signed onto a call to impeach him
. Led by Texas Republican Rep. Pete Olson, the GOP lawmakers accused Holder of perjury, failure to comply with subpoenas and failing to discharge his duties as attorney general.
"For nearly five years, Attorney General Holder has systematically deceived Congress and destroyed the credibility of the Justice Department in the eyes of the American people," Olson stated. He said the charges against Holder "clearly fall under ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ offenses of the Constitution.”
The other 19 lawmakers — all Republicans — who signed Olson's call for impeachment are Reps. Mike Conaway, Blake Farenthold, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Sam Johnson, Steve Stockman, Randy Weber, and Roger Williams, all of Texas; Scott DesJarlais and David Roe of Tennessee; Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Ted Yoho of Florida, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Mark Amodei of Nevada, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Duncan Hunter of California, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Larry Bucshon of Indiana.
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