House will grill Eric Holder on AP and IRS Wednesday


Eric Holder (AP Photo)

Attorney General Eric Holder will testify before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, where Republicans say they'll grill him about the Justice Department's secret review of Associated Press phone records and the IRS targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, among other issues.

The oversight hearing had already been scheduled for 1 p.m. on May 15. But Republicans now plan to use the time to address the two issues that came to light this week.

The DOJ has not been connected to the IRS scandal, but House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) suggested that the department should be involved in protecting free speech.

"Any abridgement of the First Amendment is very concerning, especially reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups for unwarranted scrutiny during an election year," Goodlatte said in a statement. "Members of the Committee will also ask pointed questions about the Justice Department’s decision to obtain two months' worth of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press."

The topics that were already on the docket for the hearing: intelligence coordination issues related to the Boston bombings, DOJ spending that Republicans deem wasteful, and conservative allegations of politicization under Holder.

Already a frequent target of Republicans, Holder faces new fire this week. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has called on him to resign. Several House Republicans have asked Holder to resign in the past few years, mostly over the Fast & Furious scandal.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Ed O'Keefe | May 14, 2013