Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) cited former Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday as an example of integrity during the fifth public hearing of the January 6 Committee, yet he signed a “no confidence” resolution in Holder in 2011 over his bias.
Holder, who described himself as President Barack Obama’s “wingman,” presided over Operation Fast and Furious, a botched scheme to smuggle guns to Mexican cartels and trace their movements, with a view to cracking down on gun sales. These guns were later used in many crimes, including the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Holder refused to cooperate with a congressional panel investigating Operation Fast and Furious, leading the House to hold him in contempt.
The Department of Justice, which is now prosecuting two former Trump aides for refusing to cooperate with the January 6 Committee, declined to prosecute Holder. So Kinzinger and other Republicans signed onto a “no confidence” motion in 2011.
The motion read, in part:
Whereas due to Attorney General Holder’s failure to properly control, monitor, or establish Operation Fast and Furious, it is likely Mexican nationals were killed or wounded by weapons sold through this scheme;
Whereas the carnage resulting from Operation Fast and Furious is not limited to Mexico;
Whereas the evidence further suggests that such guns have been used in the United States, and may be involved in
the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry;
Whereas in response to Congressional inquiries, the Administration, through Attorney General Holder’s office, initially provided false information to Congress;
Whereas in response to Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms whistleblowers who came to Congress, the Administration, through Attorney General Holder’s office, retaliated against such whistleblowers; and
Whereas in response to Congressional inquiries, the Administration, through Attorney General Holder’s office, has redacted key information and has been intransigent, obstructionist, and obdurate: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress has lost confidence in the Attorney General of the United States.
On Thursday, Kinzinger cited Holder as an example of political independence, playing a video clip of Holder during his confirmation hearing in 2009, telling Congress he would sooner resign than do anything to compromise the political independence of the Department of Justice.
I will be an independent attorney general,” Holder was shown saying. “I will be the people’s lawyer. If, however, there were an issue that I thought were that significant that it would compromise my ability to serve as Attorney General in the way that I have described it, as the people’s lawyer, I would not hesitate to resign.”
The video clip also showed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who infamously met with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac at an airport in Arizona while Hillary Clinton was under investigation for mishandling confidential emails.
After the video clip of Holder and other former attorneys general had played, Kinzinger said, without irony: “Everyone in that video from Eric Holder to Jeff Sessions spoke as one of the department. It’s a point of pride at Justice to apply the law without the president’s political self-interest tainting its actions and dictating how it uses its authorities.”
Kinzinger was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 as a conservative champion, before moving to the left and becoming an opponent of President Donald Trump and a darling of cable news. He is retiring after Democrats drew him out of his district.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.