GOP Congressmen Call for Hearings, Resignation of AG Holder Over Petraeus Scandal
(CNSNews.com) – Several conservative Republicans called for congressional hearings into the handling of CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, the news of which was apparently kept from President Barack Obama for several months by Attorney General Eric Holder.
One congressman, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), called for Holder’s resignation.
“I think the president should fire him [Holder],” King told CNSNews.com at the Capitol on Wednesday. “If I were the president and I had an attorney general who hid something like that from me, then the trust would be gone and he would be gone.”
According to the Associated Press, Holder learned of the affair between Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell late this summer from the FBI, which had been investigating whether national security had been compromised because of the affair. (The Justice Department oversees the FBI.)
According to AP, the White House was not notified until after Election Day – November 7 – meaning that Holder kept the information from Obama for at least three months.
Other GOP congressmen called for congressional hearings on the matter, saying that Holder and every other government official involved should testify before Congress as to why they did not immediately notify the president and Congress that the CIA director was under investigation.
“He certainly should answer that question,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said on Wednesday. “Why didn’t you tell the folks you are required to tell? Why didn’t you tell folks in Congress? My understanding is they’re supposed to talk to the folks in the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and notify them. Why didn’t he?”
Jordan said that Holder must explain his actions before Congress.
“I want to hear his answer,” said Jordan. “I want him in front of the committee, just like we want on this whole Libya situation, just like we want [Ambassador] Rice, Secretary Clinton, we want all those people to come talk to Congress.”
Representative Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) said that Holder had a duty to inform Congress of the investigation, saying it was “dereliction” of the duty to withhold the existence of the Petraeus investigation.
“Eric Holder should have resigned a long time ago,” Labrador said at a press conference on Wednesday. “Once again, [this] shows the incompetence or the complete neglect and dereliction of duty in Eric Holder’s administration.”
Labrador said that he hoped Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) would partner with House Republicans to fully investigate the Petraeus scandal and find out why the investigation was withheld from the White House and Congress.
“He [Holder] has a constitutional and statutory duty to tell the intelligence committees what he knows about issues like this, and he failed to do that,” he said. “I actually expect and rely on her [Feinstein] to do her job, her oversight job, in the Senate just like we will do here in the House.”