Via the Free Beacon. Alternate headline: “He’s running.”
“When an Attorney General mocks the rule of law, when an Attorney General corrupts the Department of Justice by conducting a nakedly partisan investigation to cover up political wrongdoing that conduct by any reasonable measure constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Cruz. “Attorney General Eric Holder has the opportunity to do the right thing. He could appoint a special prosecutor with meaningful independence who is not a major Obama donor.”
The donor Cruz is referring to is Justice Department prosecutor Barbara Bosserman, who has given $6,750 to the Democratic Party and President Obama over the past ten years, according to the Washington Post. Bosserman has been chosen to lead the Justice Department probe into the IRS.
Why impeach Holder instead of Obama? Because, I guess, it’s more politically salable. Impeach O and the electorate will blow up, with unpredictable results in November. That’s not a move you make if your party’s cruising towards some big wins. Impeaching Holder, or the IRS officials responsible for the apparent cover up, is less risky. Liberals will get mad but conservatives will be happy and people in the middle won’t care much, so maybe it’s a wash at the polls. He’ll be acquitted by the Democratic majority in the Senate too, of course, so there’s no chance of him actually being removed from office. Best-case scenario is that he decides he’s tired of fighting with Republicans and decides to step down voluntarily so that Dems aren’t forced to spend two months defending the IRS on camera. But that’s not Holder’s style. He’d fight and he’d win, his hackish incuriosity about the conveniently missing IRS e-mails (despite a $4.4 billion IT budget!) notwithstanding. What then?
This reminds me a little of the “defund” effort, actually, insofar as Cruz is encouraging the House to do something bold knowing he hasn’t a prayer of getting the Democratic Senate to play along. If they take his advice and impeach Holder, great. He can take credit among righties for having introduced the idea, regardless of what happens in the Senate. If they decline to impeach Holder, great. That just proves his point that Congress needs more principled conservatives in charge of both chambers. I assume it’s no coincidence that he’s introducing this the day after Boehner announced that the House will sue Obama for executive overreach. Lawsuits are all well and good, but only a squish would run to the courts for relief when he has it in his institutional power to remove an offending executive branch official himself. Republicans want bold colors, as Cruz is fond of saying, not pale pastels.