GOP Congressman on Holder: Anyone Else ‘Would Be in Jail’

By Melanie Arter | April 9, 2014 | 10:51 AM EDT

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) (AP Photo)

( – Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday refused to question Attorney General Eric Holder, considering that Holder was held in contempt of Congress, adding that any other American who did not comply with a DOJ subpoena “would be in jail.”

“If an American citizen had not complied with one of the Justice Department subpoenas, they would be in jail, not sitting here … testifying,” Farenthold said.


On June 28, 2012, Holder was held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents associated with Operation Fast and Furious. Two weapons from the gunrunning operation were found at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s fatal shooting.

“I understand that this committee has a constitutional duty of oversight over the Department of Justice, and that’s why we have Mr. Holder here today, but I don’t think I can be a part of eroding the constitutional balance of power favoring the executive over the legislative,” Farenthold said.

“I don’t think … Mr. Holder should be here. He’s in contempt of this body. I’ve called for his resignation. I’ve sponsored articles of impeachment,” he added.

Farenthold said he plans to introduce legislation to withhold the “taxpayer-funded salary” of federal employees who are held in contempt of Congress or who do not “fully comply with congressional subpoena.” He plans to try to get the legislation “enclosed with the appropriations bills that will be going through.”

“I’m committed to maintaining the constitutional balance of power and the authority that this branch, this legislative branch has, and I just don’t think it’s appropriate for Mr. Holder to be here,” Farenthold said.

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