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A tense exchange between Attorney General Eric Holder and Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) during a joint hearing with the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday ended with the Attorney General hurling an insult at Rep. Gohmert that was nearly a year in the making.
“Look what happened yesterday with Eric Holder and Louie Gohmert. This is one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Louie Gohmert is on the Oversight Committee. Now, if there's anybody that needs oversight, it's Eric Holder. But they can't seem to get him to do anything.”
Last May, Holder and Gohmert got into a heated back-and-forth about whether the United States government could have done more to prevent the Boston Marathon bombings. The exchange ended with the Congressman declaring: “The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus!”
While the line was widely considered a bungle and became fodder for Rep. Gohmert’s critics, the Congressman called into the radio program this morning and clarified that he actually used the word ‘aspargus’ on purpose. According to Rep. Gohmert, the now deceased criminal defense attorney Percy Foreman used to employ the phrase “do not cast aspersions on my asparagus” when he was attempting to ratchet down the rhetoric. The phrase also appeared in an episode of The Three Stooges.
Watch the 2013 exchange below:
Fast-forward to yesterday’s hearing, and Rep. Gohmert and the Attorney General were once again in a tense debate – this time over whether or not the Department of Justice has ignored requests to turn over certain documents to congressional investigators.
“I think what we promised to do is to provide you and your staff with --,” Holder began to say in the hearing.
“Sir, I’ve read you what your department promised and it is inadequate,” Gohmert interjected. “And I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight.”
“You don’t want to go there, buddy,” an angry Holder said.
“I don’t want to go there,” Gohmert asked. “About the contempt?”
“You should not assume that is not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate. I think it was unjust,” Holder said. “But never think that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”
Watch Tuesday’s heated exchange below:
Glenn was particularly taken aback by how declarative Holder was in his ‘suggestion’ Rep. Gohmert ‘not go there.’
“Oh, my gosh. That is a threat against a congressman on the Oversight Committee,” Glenn said. “Wake up, America! That's a threat. But it doesn't stop there.”
After Rep. Gohmert’s time expired, the Attorney General went for the jugular with a juvenile ‘dis’ he had apparently been holding onto for nearly a year.
“Good luck with your asparagus,” Holder said smugly.
“The spite… These guys are the worst people I have met. This is not a guy who falls to his knees and says, ‘Lord, just help me.’ These are not people who are afraid,” Glenn explained. “You have the attorney general of the United States of America who is dirty, who has done things over and over and over again, and has gotten away with it, who is not afraid of Congress, who is now saying this to the Oversight Committee. No respect. Nothing.”
In this moment Holder proves he not only lacks respect for Rep. Gohmert and his office but for the office of the Attorney General of the United States. When the head of the top law enforcement body in the country is disrespecting the committee that exists to oversee his department’s work, it really is disheartening.
“This is one of the most telling exchanges I think we've seen so far in this Administration,” Pat said.
“It really is,” Glenn concluded. “Holder is out of control.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP