Attorney General Calls Lawmaker 'Unacceptable and Shameful'

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Holder, "I need a yes or a no before you go into the long dialogue, otherwise I'm wasting my time." Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Holder, "I need a yes or a no before you go into the long dialogue, otherwise I'm wasting my time." Carolyn Kaster/AP

This much is clear: Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Darrell Issa don't like each other. 

The attorney general accused the Republican lawmaker of “unacceptable and shameful" conduct as frustrations boiled over in a heated exchange that drew gasps from a packed congressional committee room on Wednesday.

"No – I'm not going to stop talking now," Holder said at one point, as Issa dismissed his answers and sought to pivot to a new line of questioning.

Amid crosstalk, Holder declared: “The way you conduct yourself as a member of Congress is unacceptable and shameful.”

The verbal battle came as Holder appeared before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday for a previously scheduled oversight hearing that came as multiple scandals have enveloped the Obama administration, including the Justice Department seizure phone records from the Associated Press.

Issa and Holder have an icy relationship, to say the least. Last year, Issa, a California Republican, led the charge to hold Holder in contempt of Congress.  The contempt – the first time such a sanction had been leveled against a sitting cabinet member – was clearly fresh in Holder’s mind, as he quasi-restrained himself, saying, “I won’t characterize it – the contempt finding of this Congress.”

Issa began his questions on Wednesday by playing an audio tape of one of Holder’s deputies, Tom Perez. It was a move ripped from the same playbook that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., used during now-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing.

When Holder began a long-winded answer one of Issa’s questions, Issa quickly butted in.

"I need a yes or a no before you go into the long dialogue, otherwise I'm wasting my time."

The Issa-Holder exchange did not appear to reveal any new information other than just how frayed their relationship is.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.