Congressman Blake Farenthold: "I Don't Think Mr. Holder Should Be Here"
Today, U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold (TX-27) attended a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Attorney General Eric Holder was the sole witness. Today marked the seventh time General Holder has testified before the Judiciary Committee since his confirmation in 2009.
Congressman Farenthold did not question Holder during the hearing because he felt that, since the Attorney General has been held in contempt of Congress, it was not appropriate for him to appear before Congress as if nothing was wrong. Instead, Congressman Farenthold made the following remarks during his designated questioning round in today’s hearing:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, I understand that this Committee has the constitutional duty of oversight over the Department of Justice and that's why we have Mr. Holder here today – but I don't think I can be a part of eroding the constitutional balance of power, favoring the executive over the legislative.
I don't think Mr. Holder should be here. He's in contempt of this body. I've called for his resignation, I've sponsored articles of impeachment and, this week, I'm going to be introducing legislation that would prevent federal employees who are held in contempt of Congress or who fail to fully comply with a Congressional subpoena from being paid their taxpayer-funded salary. I'm going to try and get that [the legislation] included with the appropriations bills that’ll be going through.
I’m committed to maintaining the constitutional balance of power and the authority this branch – this Legislative Branch – has, and I just don’t think it’s appropriate [that] Mr. Holder be here. If an American citizen had not complied with one of the Justice Department subpoenas, they would be in jail – not sitting here testifying.
But I realize there are questions to be asked, and I’ll yield the remainder of my time to Mr. Gowdy.”