All-Star Panel: Republicans calling on Obama to fire Eric Holder

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 31, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Breaking news just before the show started about Attorney General Eric Holder and a new report out by the GOP, the Judiciary Committee, in which they find that the attorney general mislead Congress.  Here is from the report, quoting, "Rather than admit that he gave deceptive testimony, and that Mr. Rosen," James Rosen, chief Washington correspondent here, "was actually a target of prosecution (and further raised the ire of the media), Mr. Holder, instead represented that Mr. Rosen was never a true suspect. To thread this legal needle, the attorney general argues that the Privacy Protection Act is written incorrectly. He maintains that the current law permitted him to tarnish Mr. Rosen as a suspect, but only for the purpose of investigating a third party. The committee rejects this facile reading of the law and rejects a needless, duplicative, legislative 'correction' that serves only to provide cover for Mr. Holder's misleading testimony."

Republicans now, again, calling on President Obama to fire the attorney general over this. We are back with our panel. A.B., this is a long report, very detailed about the attorney general, his testimony, about James Rosen. The Justice Department is responding that it's all partisan.

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: Right. Democrats will complained that this is a Republican report, but the fact is that within days of Attorney General Holder's testimony, when he was asked about the Espionage Act, whether or not journalists have been prosecuted under it, he said, oh, I have never heard of such a thing. I wouldn't contemplate it. He said it wouldn't be wise policy. And everyone knew right away because of reporting on the case that that wasn't the case and he approved the designation or whatever the technical term is of James as a suspect.

And it -- again, it's another case as I brought up in the first panel of the administration -- of person after person, whether it be at low level or at the highest levels of leadership, refusing to take the basic steps to tell the truth or investigate the people that need to be investigated.  There is no reason why Eric Holder had to talk that way and get caught immediately. This is just a report that dug into the details, but immediately people were questioning his testimony and asking whether or not he had lied. And to say he misunderstood the law and that's why James Rosen was designated a suspect is ridiculous.

BAIER: There's no indication that the president is going to let Attorney General Holder go or spend more time with his family.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: No, he never does. I have to say one -- and I'm not sure if it's a good thing or bad thing, but the one thing president doesn't get credit for is sticking with very unpopular aides who work for him. Susan Rice, for example, I would say Larry Summers now, who's up potentially to be Fed chairman, Chuck Hagel. I would say Valerie Jarrett -- wildly unpopular in the business community, wildly, and I would say for good reason, and the president has stuck with her. He digs in his heels.

And Holder from his very first days of his tenure when he accused the country of being cowardly on race has been an embarrassment. But there's never been any indication that Obama is going to back off and let him go.

BAIER: He has already been censored by the House for Fast and Furious.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: If I could respond I would say that is true of Obama's cronies, but when it comes to underlings, the space under the bus has been all used up. Gregory Hicks, for example.


KRAUTHAMMER: Who was demoted, the guy who courageously spoke out about what happened in Benghazi. He was in Tripoli on that night and he did stuff that the State Department didn't like, like speaking to a congressional delegation. And he ended up under the bus and demoted.

And I would say as per the Holder investigation, his defense of you lied in speaking with Congress, his defense is, oh, I just lied to a judge in saying that Rosen was a perspective criminal suspect. That's a hell of a defense if you are the attorney general of the United States. He ought to be under the bus, but there is no chance. He is too much of a friend of the president. That's what saves you in this administration. Probity doesn't.

BAIER: More on this and some more of the politics that we talked about at the beginning of the show, and the online show coming up in just a bit. That's it for the panel, but stay tuned to see a little girl caught red-handed and her brother caught white-faced. We will explain all of this. 

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