In the history of the United States, only one cabinet secretary has ever been impeached. The distinction goes to William W. Belknap, who served as Secretary of War in the 1870s under President Ulysses S. Grant. There was apparently some unpleasantness surrounding Belknap and suspected corruption, the House impeached him, and though the Senate acquitted him, Belknap had already resigned from his position.
Apparently, 137 years later, some House Republicans hope to add to the list of impeached cabinet officials.
Some House Republicans are talking impeachment these days, but not of President Barack Obama. The scalp they’re looking for is that of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.From Operation Fast and Furious to the wiretapping of Associated Press phone calls, Holder has been under fire from Republicans for some time…. Now, Omar Raschid, a spokesman for Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho, has confirmed to CQ Roll Call that a formal resolution calling for Holder’s impeachment is in the works.
Earlier this week, Yoho told his hometown paper that he’d push “impeachment” of the attorney general “to get him out of office.” The far-right freshman added the issue “will probably” come up when the House returns to session next week, adding, “It will be before the end of the year.”
Ordinarily, elected federal lawmakers tend to have evidence of serious wrongdoing before talking to the press about impeachment efforts, but Yoho isn’t a member of Congress in the traditional mold. His chief of staff offered this explanation to the Gainesville Sun on why the congressman is interested in impeaching Holder: “Obviously there is a lot frustration with our attorney general. You can name the botched programs. ‘Fast and Furious’ has been one of the number one complaints we get in our office and why no one has been held accountable.”
For the record, it’s very difficult to take any of this nonsense seriously, and the odds of the House impeaching – or even trying to impeach – the attorney general are roughly zero.
But it’ll interesting to see if Yoho’s little gambit actually gains any allies, and if outside groups – Heritage Action? Koch brothers? – invest any effort in this.
The 113th Congress is already on track to be among the worst in American history, so why not wait to see if Ted Yoho and his cohorts can secure a #1 ranking?