It’s surprising that House Republicans took so long try and formally impeach Attorney General Eric Holder, but in any event, that’s what they’re doing. Rep. Pete Olsen is masterminding the plot, and on Thursday, nineteen of his GOP colleagues signed up, too. Rather than settling on one charge, though, Olsen and his cohorts simply mashed together every source right-wing outrage of the last couple years and chucked it toward the wall, hoping some of it will stick.
The first article of impeachment accuses Holder of withholding documents regarding Fast & Furious, the botched gun-running operation over which conservatives have unsuccessfully attempted, over the course of the last couple of years, to whip the public into a fervor. The second is about the Justice Department’s decision to stop enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act — a moot point, since DOMA has since been struck down — and, oh yeah, to relax mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders. The third article seeks to impeach him for not prosecuting anyone at the IRS over a scandal earlier this year, while the fourth accuses him of perjuring himself when he insisted, during a House hearing last May, that the DOJ hasn’t prosecuted any journalists for publishing leaked materials.
If the House of Representatives passes the articles of impeachment, which they may well do, the Democratic-controlled Senate will promptly toss them into the garbage bin, and the effort will have been simply one more thing on which the House wasted its time when it could have been, say, passing immigration reform. Still, this type of thing is reliable red meat for the base, and merely pushing for Holder’s impeachment will probably help the bill’s co-sponsors fend off any primary challenges from the right (at least for a couple of months, anyhow).