A GOP member of the House Judiciary Committee said Saturday that Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderOregon legislature on the brink as Democrats push gerrymandered maps Christie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group Democrats look to state courts as redistricting battle heats up MORE had lost the trust of the American people, arguing the Justice Department has been turned “into a criminal defense firm” over an ongoing government leaks scandal.
“Eric Holder’s credibility has been shot," Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertRepublicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Security forces under pressure to prevent repeat of Jan. 6 Washington ramps up security ahead of Sept. 18 rally MORE (R-Texas) said during an appearance on Fox News.
Gohmert lambasted Holder for refusing to publicly explain his role in the agency’s probes into media leaks, which involved the monitoring of reporters’ phone records.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteThe job of shielding journalists is not finished Bottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden MORE (R-Va.) announced late Friday that Holder had agreed to meet privately to discuss testimony he gave the panel last month.
Gohmert said the concession would not satisfy the public – or members of the press.
“How are you going to feel when you know we’re meeting behind doors to talk about how he may be invading your rights and getting your e-mail and checking your phone calls?" Gohmert questioned Fox News’s Uma Pemmaraju. “It’s not enough."
The panel is looking into whether Holder misled lawmakers on May 15, when he testified that Justice has never sought to prosecute a journalist on his watch.
The testimony doesn’t jive with a warrant application, approved by Holder, that named Fox News reporter James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator in the alleged leak of classified State Department information, Republicans assert.
Holder’s agreement to meet with lawmakers follows a heated back-and-forth between the agency and Republicans on the committee.
“He made the DOJ into a criminal defense firm and now they will help him prepare answers that they keep vague,” Gohmert said.
While the meeting will be closed, Gohmert said he would discuss whatever transpires to the extent possible without divulging classified or sensitive information.
“I want the public to know what’s going on,” he said.