Chairman Cleaver Condemns the Attack on Attorney General Holder as a Distraction from Real Issues
Washington, DC – Today, Chairman Emanuel Cleaver released the following statement condemning the partisan attacks on Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. by Chairman Issa of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:
“Today, we are witnessing the great lengths to which Republican Leadership will go in an attempt to discredit the Attorney General and embarrass the President of the United States of America. The Republican Leadership’s actions are destructive, election-year politics–plain and simple. This kind of divisive posturing hurts Americans who need their leaders focused on fixing real problems. That is why the Congressional Black Caucus led the efforts to walk out on the contempt vote to demonstrate our strong opposition to this partisan activity. Today, we proudly stood with Members of the Democratic Caucus to reflect upon why we are elected to this body and chose to stand up for justice.
“For over 15 months, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice have cooperated with the Committee’s inquiry. The Obama Administration is rightfully asserting executive privilege over the narrow subset of documents that remain at issue–the same process former Republican President Bush used no less than six times during his presidency. The United States House of Representatives has never in its history held an Attorney General, or any other Cabinet official, in contempt.
“Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations. The Republican Leadership refused to articulate any legislative purpose for pursuing contempt of our nation’s Attorney General. This is an extremely low moment in our body politic. The cause for civility has been met with an unnecessary and unfortunate partisanship. Partisanship has taken over and manufactured issues have been placed before what really matters most to the American people — JOBS.”
- Chairman Emanuel Cleaver