Republican puts crosshairs on Holder over WikiLeaks

January 3, 2011

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder  should quit if he can’t stop WikiLeaks from disclosing government documents, Darrell Issa, incoming chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee said Sunday on Fox News.issa

“He’s hurting this administration.  If you’re hurting the administration, either stop hurting the administration, or leave,” Issa said.

As chairman of the oversight panel when the new Congress convenes Wednesday, the California Republican has the authority to investigate the government for waste and fraud and will be able to issue subpoenas to obtain information he believes he needs.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has angered the United States by releasing secret diplomatic cables on his website and teaming up with newspapers around the globe to amplify the impact of the disclosures.

“If the president says ‘I can’t deal with this guy as a terrorist,’ then he has to be able to deal with him as a criminal, otherwise the world is laughing at — at this paper tiger we’ve become,” Issa said of Assange.

Issa said his panel would address WikiLeaks “to get that right so the diplomats can do their job with confidence and people can talk to our government with confidence.”

A Justice Department spokesman declined comment on Issa’s remarks.

Issa reiterated Holder’s previous statements that the U.S. government was considering using the U.S. Espionage Act , as well as other laws,  to prosecute Assange.

The new Congress would also have to craft whistle-blower legislation to set policy on those who report government misconduct, under the new circumstances created by WikiLeaks, Issa said.

“The next whistle-blower bill has to deal with WikiLeaks and the loss of these classified documents in a mature, bipartisan way,” he said.

Photo Credits: REUTERS/Mike Blake (Issa announcing he would not run for governor, Aug. 7, 2003); REUTERS/Jason Reed (Issa (R) with Indiana Rep. Dan Burton at a House Oversight hearing)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

The US Congress and Administration seem to lack even the barest understanding of the requirements of Democracy and the Rule of Law.
They are marching to the beat of a Fascist drum and should be called to account in the UN and every other World forum.
The cowardice and servile subjugation displayed by our own governments, leaves us all in danger of whatever crazy action these warmongers decide to take.

The UN should be shouting, not whispering.

Posted by sharpfang | Report as abusive

Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me. Republicans are going to retaliate against the U.S. Attorney General if he can’t force the rest of the world to stop Wikileaks from publishing papers? What’s he supposed to do, send in ground troops to every country in which these disclosures are being made?

God, GOP, grow the frak up already.

Posted by BillDShroyer | Report as abusive

[...] Holder over WikiLeaks (Paul Eckert/Front Row Washington) Paul Eckert / Front Row Washington:Republican puts crosshairs &#959n Holder over WikiLeaks  —  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder &#1109h&#959&#965ld quit &#1110f h&#1077 [...]

[...] Republican puts crosshairs on Holder over Wikileaks Share and [...]

Dear Americans, your government is being very scary right now. Could you please remind them that us foreign folks deserve freedoms too, and threatening to kill my countrymen is not a very nice way to treat us Aussies who have always been loyal allies.


Posted by shayneO | Report as abusive

Oh, but this is one guy that apparently back pedals a lot… so having a few remarks out of context of his retractions could look bad. Really this sort of reaction should be taken and internallized to stop saying stupid things.

Posted by d3x0r | Report as abusive

[...] of …Rep. Darrell Issa pledges to find $ 200 billion in government wasteLos Angeles TimesRepublican puts crosshairs on Holder over WikiLeaksReuters (blog)US attorney general lax on WikiLeaks: RepublicanAFPCNN International -News [...]

[...] what Darrell Issa, incoming Chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee said on Fox News Sunday, according to a Reuters blog [...]

Darrell Issa should resign, the moment that he realized that he was calling for perversion of justice by using his official role to get people to be prosecuted for non-criminal acts.

Posted by AustinHook | Report as abusive

For Issa, perhaps best known as an alleged car thief who lied about his military background, it seems “corruption” is just another wordfor “stuff Idon’t like.” Given that Issa will have expansive subpoena power starting in a few days, that’s not exactly encouraging.

Despite all of this, much of the political establishment will still ask incredulously why President Obama can’t generate more bipartisan support.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive

[...] for Attorney General to Resign Over WikiLeaksPC MagazinePolitics Daily -TPMMuckraker -Reuters (blog)all 603 news [...]

Go For IT. Go after all the people that have stolen U.S. secrets. Start with Putin, demand the Russians surrender him for trial under the U.S. Espionage Act. This should be fun.

Posted by ARJTurgot2 | Report as abusive

[...] Issa argued that US Attorney General Eric Holder should step down if he can’t stop Wikileaks (Reuters). He went on to state, He’s hurting this administration. If you’re hurting the administration, [...]

[...] WikiLeaksPC MagazineIssa Announces Hearings, Will Probe Fannie, Freddie, FDA, WikiLeaksTPMMuckrakerReuters (blog) -AFP -Gawkerall 538 news [...]

[...] Foe Darrell Issa Sets House Oversight Agenda, Targets WikiLeaksPolitics DailyTPMMuckraker -Reuters (blog) -AFPall 558 news [...]

[...] pressures, as they consider the Attorney General should have gone further in condemning Wikileaks. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, who is in charge of investigating [...]