Holder will face questions about why the Department of Justice seized the phone records of several Associated Press reporters and editors.
According to the committee, he’ll also be asked to discuss “the unwarranted targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, the recent bombings in Boston, wasteful spending at the Justice Department, and troubling allegations of the politicization of the Justice Department under [his] leadership.
In a statement, committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) previewed the hearing:
“Oversight over the Department of Justice is a key function of the House Judiciary Committee and recent events illustrate the importance of this duty. Any abridgement of the First Amendment is very concerning, especially reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups for unwarranted scrutiny during an election year. 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. Congress and the American people expect answers and accountability.
“In addition, after the horrific attacks in Boston on Patriots Day, we learned that in the years leading up the attacks several different federal agencies or departments received intelligence about the bombers but failed to connect the dots and share critical information with other agencies. The Obama Administration and Congress need to determine whether there are improvements that can be made going forward to facilitate inter-agency information sharing so that we can better detect and deter future home grown terrorist attacks. We must ensure our criminal laws and processes are up to the task of handling terrorism cases.
“The Attorney General also has some explaining to do regarding wasteful spending at the Justice Department. Although Attorney General Holder dramatically warned that sequestration would force the Department to make cuts that threaten the safety of all Americans, a closer look at the Department’s spending reveals many areas of extravagance, such as $10,000 pizza parties and the purchase of a new prison when others sit empty.
“Members of the House Judiciary Committee also have questions for the Attorney General about the politicization of the Justice Department under his leadership. There are several examples in which conclusions reached by career attorneys after thorough investigation have been overruled by Administration appointees for political reasons. The House Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to the American people to oversee the Justice Department to ensure that it is operating as efficiently and fairly as possible.”
The hearing is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.