Two Republican heavyweights put Attorney General Eric Holder through the wringer Wednesday, as Sen. Mike Lee grilled Holder on the constitutional basis for President Obama’s use of executive orders, while Sen. Ted Cruz demanded Holder name an independent investigator to probe the IRS harassment of conservative groups.
Under questioning by Lee, Holder was forced to acknowledge he couldn’t explain what legal standard covered one of Obama’s most controversial executive orders – the one delaying the requirement that employers provide insurance coverage for full-time workers or face fines.
The Utah Republican, who had clearly done his homework before quizzing Holder, said Obama’s exercise of executive orders – and his boast during Tuesday’s State of the Union address that he is planning more – had “usurped an extraordinary amount of authority within the executive branch.”
Under a pounding by Cruz, Holder claimed there is reason to question whether an investigation of the Obama IRS by an attorney known to be an Obama supporter and donor should be viewed as impartial.
The Texas Republican wasn’t buying it.
“In my view, the integrity of the Department of Justice has been severely compromised,” Cruz told Holder. “Predecessors of yours in both parties, Democrat and Republican, when faced with serious charges of abuse of power for partisan gain have made the right decision and appointed special prosecutors.”
“I would call upon you to carry out the tradition of independence that attorneys general have honored that office with for centuries and protect the integrity of the Department of Justice,” he told Holder. “Given the political sensitivities, given the fact that individual citizens believe they are being persecuted by the federal government for partisan reasons.”
Check out Cruz taking on Holder here. Lee’s tangle with Holder is below.
Watch Lee take Holder to law school here.
H/T: The Blaze
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