Rep. Steve King: Fire Eric Holder

November 15, 2012 - 7:06 AM
Steve King

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) - Several conservative Republicans are calling for congressional hearings into the way the FBI and Justice Department dealt with Gen. David Petraeus’ extramarital affair, apparently withholding information about the affair from President Obama for several months.

One congressman, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), says Holder should lose his job.

“I think the president should fire him [Holder],” King told CNSNews.com at the Capitol 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.”

The Associated Press says Holder learned of the affair between Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell late this summer from the FBI, which had been investigating a possible breach of national security.

But the AP says the White House was not notified until Election Day – November 6 – which indicates that Holder kept the information from Obama for at least three months.

The Republican congressmen said 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 (Holder) certainly should answer that question,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said. “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. 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.”

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) said Holder had a duty to inform Congress of the investigation, and he called it a “dereliction” of duty for him to withhold word of the Petraeus investigation.

“Eric Holder should have resigned a long time ago,” Labrador said at a press conference Wednesday. “Once again [this] shows the incompetence or the complete neglect and dereliction of duty in Eric Holder’s administration.”

Labrador said he hopes that Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein will 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.”