WASHINGTON — If you ever doubted that Eric Holder really really hates Rep. Darrell Issa, Wednesday’s hearing should put those doubts to rest as the nation’s top law enforcement officer accused the California Republican of “unacceptable” and “shameful” behavior.
Holder, under fire from Republicans and even some Democrats over DOJ’s secret seizure of Associated Press phone records, Holder and Issa engaged in a lengthy, and often bitter, back and forth during an oversight hearing Wednesday afternoon.
After a long line of questioning from Issa about labor nominee Tom Perez, a visably frustrated Holder proclaimed that he was not going to stop talking because Issa’s questioning was “inappropriate.”
“It’s too consistent with the way in which you conduct yourself as a member of Congress. It’s unacceptable and it’s shameful,” Holder said.
Issa made Holder a top target last year and led the charge in the House to hold the Attorney General in criminal contempt of congress over the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal.
Issa wanted Holder to turn over emails from the personal accounts of Perez, an assistant attorney general, proclaiming that the committee had only seen the “to and from” in the emails.
“Our investigators have seen 34 of the 35 five written emails that violated the federal records act,” Issa said. “We have just seen the to and from we have not seen the contents.”
Holder told Issa “there must have been a good reason” the full emails were not made fully available.
“Yes, you didn’t want us to see the details,” Issa sniped.
Over the course of the questioning, Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee interrupted several times to protest Issa’s use of a voice recording of Perez, with Chairman Bob Goodlatte having to call order to the hearing room several times.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Additionally, Attorney General Eric Holder told the committee he was going to continue to speak. An earlier version of this item misstated that information (5/15/13)