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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs