The Republican criticism of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department -- first, over the failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation and now, the subpoena of reporters’ phone and email records -- is growing to include outcry from liberal media outlets and Democrats.
“It seems to me clear that the actions of the department have in fact impaired the First Amendment,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said earlier this month. “Reporters who might have previously believed that a confidential source would speak to them would no longer have that level of confidence.”
The congresswoman has been joined in her concerns by Democratic commentators and the liberal-leaning Huffington Post, which recently ran a giant headline saying it’s time for Holder to go.
House Republicans have over the past couple of years introduced multiple anti-Holder resolutions, including one now that expresses no confidence in the attorney general.
Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, sponsor of the most recent resolution, says he has dozens of cosponsors and that Holder is failing to uphold his constitutional obligations -- and that he continues to be evasive with Congress and the American people.
On Tuesday, the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee also said it was looking into whether Holder misled Congress when he said he had no knowledge about the "potential prosecution" of journalists. No reporter has been charged in any leak probe by the department, but investigators did accuse a Fox News journalist of violating federal law in the course of seeking a search warrant in 2010.
On the other side of the aisle, liberal pundit Bill Press has joined in the call to remove Holder, tweeting that he should be fired.
Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor, said what makes the recent criticism different from the Republican-led grilling over Fast and Furious, which was linked to the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, is the bipartisan outcry.
“You're starting to see Democrats join Republicans to call for (Holder's) resignation,” Trippi said. “Whenever you see both sides doing that, it means there's real trouble. It doesn't mean he's in trouble of having to be forced out or resigned yet. It means it's a lot more serious than other events he's had to take on.”
Holder responded to reports Tuesday that he regrets the subpoenas aimed at journalists, saying, “I’m not satisfied.”
He also indicated he’s going to have meetings and discussions with members of the media, possibly as soon as this week.
Fox News reporter Shannon Bream contributed to this report.