OTR Interviews

Sen. Cruz: 'There is an arrogance in the abuse of power for the Obama administration'

In addition to fighting President Obama's questionable use of executive action, the Texas senator is fighting the administration's attempts to expand federal power


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 4, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Is President Obama pushing the legal limit? Senator Ted Cruz says, yes. He just released a new report on the Obama administration's attempts to expand federal power. He calls it an assault on Texas. Senator Cruz joins us. Nice to see you, sir.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Greta, it's always great to join you.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, here is a report just released. What is the purpose of this report?

CRUZ: Well, Greta, I serve as the senior Republican on the constitution subcommittee in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In that capacity, we have put out a series of reports examining the abuse of power and the lawlessness from the Obama administration and this is the third in that series.

This one focuses on the Obama administration's assault on Texas. It goes through 10 cases where the Obama administration has advocated for overbroad views of federal power and has been over and over again repudiated by the federal courts. The courts have been throwing out.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you won all 10 because I know you have five pending beyond this, but the ten that you have listed in this report at least state at the litigation, have you won all 10?

CRUZ: They have either -- Texas has either won or the cases have been dropped and been mooted.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, you write a report and complaining about a president exceeding his power, but what are you going to do? Because it's like, you could probably write a report until you are blue in the face.

CRUZ: Well, look, I mean, the biggest thing we can do is shine attention on this because, right now, there is an arrogance in the abuse of power for the administration. You take, for example, just a week ago, Eric Holder, the attorney general before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I questioned him about the IRS scandal.

Eight months ago, the president claimed he was angry and outranged about the IRS scandal. In the eight months that have followed no one has been indicted. Lois Lerner, the head of the organization that wrongfully targeted conservatives and Tea Party activists has pleaded the fifth and gone before Congress.

VAN SUSTEREN: And retired.

CRUZ: Shockingly we have discovered now that the Justice Department has appointed a partisan Democrat. A major Obama donor who has given over $6,000 to President Obama and the Democrats to head the investigation, and so I asked Eric Holder, would you trust John Mitchell to investigate the Nixon administration, attorneys general in both parties have a long history of demonstrating independence, demonstrating integrity.

So Elliott Richardson stood up to President Nixon and appointed Archibald Cox as independent council when there were serious allegations of abuse of power. Likewise, Janet Reno, a Democrat, stood up to Robert Fisk and I asked Eric Holder why won't you show him that same independence, that same integrity to appoint a special prosecutor to get to the truth? He said he see no problem with a partisan Democrat doing this investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: You are a lawyer clerked for the Supreme Court so you are real student in the constitution more so than I am, but here's what I don't get is thousands of lawyers in the Justice Department. And can't ask political affiliation when you appoint. I got that.

I actually am sympathetic to him making his choice. I do not understand why this woman lawyer, why this Justice Department accepted the responsibility. Simply because I think the code of professional responsibility I'm not saying she is biased.

But that she at least we know that people might think she is and that would poison or jeopardize people's view of the integrity of it. I don't think she should have accepted it.

CRUZ: Well, let me press back slightly on you can't ask political affiliation. The Department of Justice's ethics guidelines say that if the impartiality of a department lawyer can reasonably be questioned then they must recuse themselves or get a special.

VAN SUSTEREN: Incumbent upon that lawyer volunteering. You can't go around to the justice department and say how much did you give? How much did you give? How much did you give?

CRUZ: These are all public records so you don't have to ask it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you expect them to go hunting through all the records for every prosecutor?

CRUZ: It takes 10 seconds in a Google search. This is a prosecutor in the civil rights division, which is historically the most politically charged partisan. I guarantee you; this lawyer is well known to be a partisan democrat.

VAN SUSTEREN: You and I both agree this is not the best choice but we come at it from a little different direction. I don't think she should have accepted him.

CRUZ: Look, I agree she shouldn't have accepted it but, at the same time, this is not a run of the mill case. This is a case where the allegation is that the IRS was used to target the president's political opponents. It's an abuse of power and just this weekend, President Obama went on with your colleague Bill O'Reilly and grinned in the camera and said there is not a smidgen of corruption and I guess he knows this because his Obama donor made sure that the investigation did not uncover the truth.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is another thing we are coming up on the two-year mark? I'm going to take the last word on this that this is the slowest investigation ever. I don't understand how these things move way too slowly.

CRUZ: They haven't even interviewed the victims. It's not accidental. And to be honest, when the president goes on Fox News and says there is not a smidgen of corruption, it's like is he laughing at the impartial administration of justice. We need to uphold the integrity of the law here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, always nice to see you, sir.

CRUZ: It's great to be with you.