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Articles of impeachment against AG Eric Holder to be filed

Nov. 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Eleven U.S. House Republicans have drafted articles of impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder, an action one lawmaker said wasn't done lightly.

The lawmakers plan to formally introduce their charges against Holder Thursday, Roll Call reported.

The charges include the Justice Department's refusal to turn over documents on the failed gun-running Operation Fast and Furious, a refusal to uphold certain laws -- specifically the Defense of Marriage Act -- and a refusal to prosecute IRS officials who accessed tax records of political donors and candidates without authorization.

The articles of impeachment also charge that Holder lied to Congress.

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, said the decision wasn't taken lightly.

"Since the House voted in 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the pattern of disregard for the rule of law and refusal to be forthright has continued," Olson said in a statement to Roll Call. "The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the attorney general refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action."

Olson told Roll Call that he would release the four articles of impeachment Thursday. On Wednesday, he released a document detailing the impeachment claims against Holder.

Article I claims Holder "engaged in a pattern of conduct incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in him" by refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, which tracked guns crossing the U.S-Mexican border for use by drug cartels. One of the guns was used in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

Article II of the proceedings charges Holder violated his oath by refusing to enforce certain laws the Obama administration determined it would not enforce, including the Defense of Marriage Act, which the administration deemed unconstitutional.

Article III charges Holder violated his oath by "refusing to prosecute individuals involved in the Internal Revenue Service scandal of unauthorized disclosure of tax records belonging to political donors."

The last article accuses Holder of providing "false testimony to the House Judiciary Committee" concerning possible prosecution of Fox News reporter James Rosen under the Espionage Act.

Ten other Republicans are cosponsoring the articles of impeachment, Roll Call said. They are Phil Roe of Tennessee, Ted Yoho of Florida, Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and Blake Farenthold, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, Bill Flores and Louie Gohmert, all of Texas.

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