News / USA

US Lawmakers Question Attorney General in Domestic Scandals

US Lawmakers Question Holder Over Domestic Scandalsi
X
May 16, 2013 1:39 AM
U.S. Attorney-General Eric Holder faced tough questions from members of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Wednesday on the Justice Department's gathering of phone records from Associated Press reporters and on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative Tea Party groups. As VOA Congressional Correspondent Cindy Saine reports, this has turned out to be a rough week for the Attorney-General and President Barack Obama.

US Lawmakers Question Holder Over Domestic Scandals

Cindy Saine
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder faced tough questions from members of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Wednesday, about the Justice Department's gathering of phone records from Associated Press reporters, and on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative Tea Party groups. This has turned out to be a rough week for the attorney general and for President Barack Obama.

President Obama is facing questions on two developing domestic scandals, and the pressure on top members of his Cabinet is beginning to heat up on Capitol Hill.  
 
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have expressed outrage that Internal Revenue Service employees targeted conservative Tea Party groups that applied for tax-exempt status for special scrutiny. House Speaker John Boehner suggested there may have been criminal conduct.

“The IRS admitted to targeting conservatives, even if the White House continues to be stuck on the word ‘if.’ My question isn't about who is going to resign. My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?,” Boehner said.

At a previously scheduled House hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder promised that his department would be dispassionate in its investigation into the IRS and go after whoever did wrong.

"The facts will take us wherever they take us," Holder said.

Though the Justice Department has subpoenaed two months of AP reporters and editors' telephone records, Holder told lawmakers he could not answer any questions because he recused himself early in the investigation of who leaked sensitive national security information about a foiled terror attack in Yemen.

"I am not familiar with the reasons why the subpoena was constructed in the way that it was because I am simply not a part of the case," Holder said.

Some Republican lawmakers said they detect a pattern with the Obama administration when it comes to scandals.  Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.

"There does not seem to be any acceptance of responsibility, in the Justice Department, for things that have gone wrong," Sensenbrenner said.

A number of Democratic lawmakers and civil rights activists have said the seizure of reporters' phone records could have a chilling effect on freedom of the press.  Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California.

"The damage done to a free press is substantial," Lofgren said.

Lawmakers say they will continue to push for answers,  which will likely mean more tough weeks ahead for the President and his Attorney- General.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid