Holder to lead investigation into White House national security leaks?

June 12, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement urging that a Special Counsel in the Department of Justice be appointed to lead the investigation into the White House national security leaks case, questioning whether the truth could be revealed if Attorney General Eric Holder was overseeing the investigation:

“Eric Holder, who has been under increasing scrutiny for his purported cover-up of the Fast and Furious, the Black Panthers Philly 2008 case, and fighting Florida’s voter ID laws, has no business leading the investigation into the White House national security leaks. He is a political appointee loyal to Obama.

“The Special Counsel is the only office that independent of the Attorney General can lead such a politically charged inquiry. Holder has an interest to protect Obama, who for all we know originated the leak. Only an independent investigation will reveal how far up this goes, and avoid any appearance of a cover-up.

“If ever there was a case for a special prosecutor, this is it. This is precisely why the Special Counsel was created.

“Holder should stand aside, and let an independent investigation proceed without his or the White House’s interference. Right now, this is the equivalent of the fox watching the hen house. Nobody is going to feel justice was served when the White House exonerates itself without an independent body having had a chance to investigate.”

 Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

Correction: The original version of this press statement errantly called for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to lead the national security leaks investigation, when the intention was to call for a special counsel be appointed by the Attorney General to lead the investigation.




ALG: Holder should resign fast and furiously

Feb. 2, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Today, members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight questioned Attorney General Eric Holder of the U.S. Justice Department on the stonewalling of subpoenaed information on the Fast and Furious debacle.

The Fast and Furious operation left one Border Patrol agent and at least 300 Mexicans dead because of the Justice Department’s operation to funnel guns to Mexican drug cartels.

“This was a transfer of firearms from straw purchasers to people who were not legally allowed to purchase them in violation of federal law. This was deliberately done to put the weapons in the hands of the cartels,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG).

As Holder continues to argue that there has not been any cover up of the scandal while at the same time failing to turn over congressionally subpoenaed documents, it is time for the Obama Administration to come clean. Instead, in the wake of revelations that Justice Department officials had significantly more knowledge and involvement in the Fast and Furious disaster, Holder continues to claim innocence.

“It is time for Eric Holder to accept responsibility for the deaths that occurred based upon nothing more than a political public relations ploy attempting to drum up support for legislation banning firearms. Eric Holder should step down immediately to restore some semblance of trust in the U.S. Justice Department.”

The parents of the slain agent, Brian Terry, are promising a $25 million lawsuit against the federal government.

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

Attorney General Holder Should Resign or Be Fired over Fast and Furious

Nov. 30, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today in a statement called on Attorney General Eric Holder to step down or be fired for his role in Operation Fast and Furious:

Eric Holder’s Nixonian levels of paranoia penetrating the upper reaches of the Justice Department notwithstanding, there is indeed a growing chorus of elected officials calling for the Attorney General to step down — and with good cause. One Border Patrol agent and at least 300 Mexicans are dead because of the Justice Department’s operation to funnel guns to Mexican drug cartels.

“This was a transfer of firearms from straw purchasers to people who were not legally allowed to purchase them in violation of federal law. This was deliberately done to put the weapons in the hands of the cartels. Holder should resign or be fired, having lost the moral authority to lead a department tasked with enforcing the laws of the United States and protecting the American people.

“This felony, along with pretending to be in the dark about it, disqualifies Holder from further service. What apparently started out as a politically motivated operation to justify stricter gun control measures turned into a tragedy. Justice can only be served by Holder’s immediate removal from office.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.


DOJ Dispatches 400 Election Monitors to 18 States, but Not NV or NC, ALG Responds

November 2nd, 2010, Fairfax, VA—The Department of Justice is deploying “more than 400 federal observers and department personnel to 30 jurisdictions in 18 states” to monitor today’s elections. Of note, however, is that two notable states where irregularities have already been reported, North Carolina and Nevada, are not on the list of states.

In Clark County, Nevada, FOX 5 Vegas reported voters who, when they entering the voting booth, noted that Harry Reid’s name was already checked off. Controversy emerged when it was reported that the SEIU Local 1107, which supports Harry Reid,controls the ballot boxes by contract through their representation of the voting machine technicians.

In North Carolina, a similar situation has emerged where voters attempting to vote the Republican ticket had the opposite result recorded in the machine, despite repeated attempts. And in Havelock, NC, at one point the machines only tallied 250 votes cast when 400 people had signed into vote.

However, no federal agents have been called in. Instead, they are going to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson said he was not surprised at the omission: “The American people will remember that this is Eric Holder’s Justice Department, who let the new Black Panthers off the hook in Philadelphia in a case of blatant voter intimidation. We’ve gotten past the point where we expect them to deal evenly with potential cases of election fraud, manipulation, and intimidation. They have lost credibility.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.


Boxer Countrywide Conflict of Interest Revealed as Complaints are Filed with Senate Ethics Committee and Attorney General

Calls for New Ethics Investigation Grow as Public Watchdog Uncovers Conflict of Interest

October 26th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today urged the Senate Ethics Committee to reexamine sweetheart loans given to Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad by Countrywide in light of three Countrywide loans held by the committee’s chair, Senator Barbara Boxer.

“Senator Boxer, who had Countrywide loans of her own, never should have headed the Dodd and Conrad investigations into their own Countrywide dealings. This is one of the most blatant conflicts of interest in Senate history, and throws the Ethics Committee’s investigations of Dodd and Conrad completely into question,” Wilson declared.

“Senator Boxer’s loans even came during the same period as Dodd and Conrad’s loans, and yet she did not recuse herself,” Wilson explained.

Documents have recently surfaced from the Foundation for Ethics in Public Service, as reported by the Daily Caller, showing Boxer had refinanced mortgages with Countrywide in Marin and Alameda Counties in California from 2000 through 2004, and in Washington, D.C. from 2001 to 2007. The Marin County refi was paid off in 2006, and the Alameda County refi was paid off in 2005 via a Credit Suisse refi. Dodd refinanced twice with Countrywide in 2003, and Conrad received his special deal in 2004.

Boxer spokesman Zachary Coile denied any wrongdoing: “Senator Boxer disclosed more information than she was asked to disclose — even though Senate rules do not require any disclosure of a lawmaker’s mortgages.” Wilson said the issue “goes beyond disclosure.”

Wilson responded, “Boxer still doesn’t get it. This is pretty basic stuff. You don’t head an investigation into a company that you’re a client of. Her partial disclosure does not mitigate that inherent conflict of interest.”

Previously, Boxer had only disclosed the existence of two of the Countrywide loans to reporters in 2008. Wilson questioned why the third loan was kept a secret, saying, “The head of the Senate Ethics Committee should be above reproach. It certainly raises questions.”

The Foundation for Ethics in Public Service has now filed formal complaints with both the Senate Ethics Committee and Attorney General Eric Holder for this particular failure of Boxer to disclose the Alameda County refi for her son Doug’s home. “It’s been 8 years where it should have been disclosed, and she did not,” said Leslie Merritt, Executive Director of the Foundation.

“As head of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, she should have listed everything,” Merritt added.

“Boxer’s committee concluded that both Senators Dodd and Conrad ‘should have exercised more vigilance’ to avoid the appearance of impropriety when she herself did not meet that basic standard. She did not recuse herself from overseeing these investigations because of her own Countrywide loans when she should have,” Wilson said.

Wilson called on the Senate Ethics Committee, which exonerated Dodd and Conrad of any wrongdoing, to redo their inquiries. Both Senators were accused of accepting gifts from Countrywide via the so-called “Friends of Angelo” program. The committee found “no credible evidence” that either Senator had “knowingly accepted a gift.”

However, Dodd had admitted that he knew he was in the VIP program in February 2009. And according to sworn testimony by former Countrywide employee Robert Feinberg to Congress, both Senators Dodd and Conrad were aware they were in the program. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Dodd “got the red-carpet treatment because of his central role in regulating the financial industry,” according to Feinberg.

The Journal report continues, “Countrywide was for years the biggest single customer of Fannie Mae, the giant government-sponsored mortgage securitizer that has since gone into federal conservatorship. Much of Countrywide’s business was built around its ability to sell loans to Fannie, and [former Countrywide CEO Angelo] Mozilo helped push Fannie to accept dodgier and dodgier paper. Mr. Dodd in turn supported this goal by pressing Fannie to do more for ‘affordable’ housing.”

“Boxer’s commission completely botched this investigation. She said Dodd and Conrad didn’t know they were getting special treatment. It is crystal clear they did know,” Wilson said. Dodd reportedly saved $75,000 because of the preferential treatment, and did not seek reelection in 2010 because of his involvement with Countrywide.

Also included in the “Friends of Angelo” program were former Fannie Mae CEO’s Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson.

Wilson said Countrywide’s bankruptcy would not have been possible without support from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. GSE purchases of mortgages from Countrywide gave it the ability to originate some $789 billion of so-called “Best Practices” mortgages that helped to fulfill the Government Sponsored Enterprises’ “affordable housing goals,” according to research by former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae, Edward Pinto.

Those “affordable housing goals” helped to facilitate both companies’ downfalls, according Pinto’s research. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed in conservatorship in 2008 by Congress, and have received as much as $145 billion in taxpayer assistance.

“Dodd and Conrad’s placement into the ‘Friends of Angelo’ VIP program, when Countrywide was doing some $789 billion worth of business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the behest of congressionally-mandated ‘affordable housing goals’, were obviously gifts. The Senate kept the easy money flowing from the GSEs to Countrywide, and Countrywide reciprocated to key senators with favorable treatment,” Wilson explained.

“Senator Boxer had no business overseeing the ethics panel against Dodd and Conrad for their own Countrywide loans when she had multiple refi’s from Countrywide during the same period Dodd and Conrad did. Boxer should have recused herself,” Wilson concluded.


Senator Boxer’s Alameda County Property, 2002, at http://washingtonalert.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/BoxerAlamedaCountyProperty.pdf

Complaint to Senate Ethics Committee, October 25th, 2010, Foundation for Ethics in Public Service.

Complaint to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, October 25th, 2010, Foundation for Ethics in Public Service.

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.


ALG Calls on Holder to Appoint Special Counsel, or Resign

June 3rd, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to either appoint a special counsel to investigate the widening Sestak-Romanoff White House job offers scandal, or to resign.

“When Richard Nixon instructed then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox, he resigned rather than take part in an overt cover-up of the Watergate scandal,” Wilson said. “Will Attorney General Eric Holder have the honor and integrity to do the same?”

Wilson said that Attorney General Eric Holder “has the duty to appoint a special counsel to immediately launch an independent investigation of the widening Sestak-Romanoff job offers scandal. If he is receiving pressure from the White House not to do so, he has to make a choice to appoint the counsel, or to resign with honor.”

Last week, according to the Daily Caller, the Justice Department refused Congressman Darrell Issa’s request that the Attorney General appoint an special counsel to investigate offers that were made to Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff in exchange for dropping out of primary battles against incumbent Democrat Senators Arlen Specter and Michael Bennet.

As reported by the Daily Caller, “In a letter to California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich attempts to tip-toe around the congressman’s request for an independent counsel to investigate a bribery claim made by Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak.”

“You have asked that a special counsel be appointed to handle the investigation of this matter,” Weich wrote in his letter. “The Department of Justice, however, has a long history of handling investigations of high level officials professionally and independently, without the need to appoint a special counsel.”

Wilson said, “That’s not good enough. This stonewalling by the White House is reaching Watergate-era proportions. There are two instances where Obama has clearly violated the law. Eric Holder has the sole authority to appoint a special counsel in this instance to get to the bottom of this widening scandal.”

Under 28 U.S.C. § 510, the Attorney General has the power to delegate his authority to another member of the Justice Department: “The Attorney General may from time to time make such provisions as he considers appropriate authorizing the performance by any other officer, employee, or agency of the Department of Justice of any function of the Attorney General.”

And under 28 U.S.C. § 515, the Attorney General has the power to direct a U.S. attorney to launch an investigation: “The Attorney General or any other officer of the Department of Justice, or any attorney specially appointed by the Attorney General under law, may, when specifically directed by the Attorney General, conduct any kind of legal proceeding, civil or criminal, including grand jury proceedings and proceedings before committing magistrate judges, which United States attorneys are authorized by law to conduct…”

“Though the White House claims that nothing illegal or improper was done does not mean they are innocent,” says Wilson. “An independent investigation is therefore needed, and if any case ever screamed for a special prosecutor, this is it. The trouble is that only Attorney General Eric Holder can appoint one.”

Wilson said a special prosecutor needs to be appointed to investigate the jobs offered to Sestak and Romanoff, to call witnesses to testify under oath, and to get to the bottom of whether Obama himself authorized the job offers.

“Holder has a choice to do the right thing by launching an independent investigation, or to resign,” Wilson concluded.

Wilson will be available to comment on the potential violation of the law by the Obama Administration when offering Sestak and Romanoff jobs in exchange for dropping out of their respective Senate races.

Interview Availability: To schedule Bill Wilson for a radio or television interview, please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org, for print interviews, please contact Richard Manning at (703) 383-0880 or at rmanning@getliberty.org.


Holder Admits Johnsen Fulfilling Duties at DOJ Prior to Appointment; ALG Calls for Nominee to be Defeated

March 29th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Attorney General Eric Holder has admitted that Barack Obama’s nominee for Assistant Attorney General to the Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen, was fulfilling key duties related to that post even though she has not been confirmed by the Senate.

According to Holder’s written testimony, when asked of allegations that Johnsen had been making hiring decisions at the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), he wrote that while the acting Assistant Attorney General has made all personnel decisions, “Professor Johnsen’s participation in this process has been appropriate and consistent with the past practice of presidential nominees of both parties. Like such other nominees, she was involved in the consideration of candidates for political appointments, such as those persons who would serve as her deputies should she be confirmed.”

The testimony continued, “By contrast, with respect to applicants for civil service positions, Professor Johnsen simply forwarded some resumes for attorney positions to the Acting Assistant Attorney General for OLC and occasionally offered her views as to some candidates for those positions who came to her attention and on general attorney staffing issues.”

Holder denied that Johnsen participated “in the interviews of any candidates for career positions, nor was she part of the final selection process.”

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today renewed his call for the nominee to be defeated by the Senate. “Based upon Attorney General Holder’s own testimony, Dawn Johnsen has already had input into the makeup of the Office of Legal Counsel despite the fact that she has not been confirmed to the position of Assistant Attorney General.”

Wilson called Holder’s testimony “a smoking gun,” and said “raises a rather serious constitutional concern that Johnsen has averted the Advice and Consent Clause of the Constitution.”

ALG had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on October 26th, 2009 to the Justice Department’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel attempting to confirm allegations that Johnsen has been performing duties pursuant to that office without being confirmed by the Senate, including making hiring decisions.

The ALG FOIA request has gone unheeded in spite of a 20-day statutory requirement. It has been 155 days since the request was filed, and over 100 business days.

The story was broken by the National Review Online, where according to the report, Johnsen may have been “involving herself in OLC’s decisions on hiring junior lawyers. If those reports are accurate, Johnsen’s actions would seem a serious violation of the Senate’s understanding of pre-confirmation etiquette—an etiquette that is especially punctilious for nominees who have generated controversy—and would give senators additional reason to oppose her nomination.”

ALG Counsel Nathan Mehrens said “it was even more urgent now that the Justice Department fulfill the FOIA request. Holder’s testimony on the extent of Johnsen’s involvement can now be confirmed or refuted be the release of the FOIA documents.”

Mehrens added, “The Senate has a duty to verify Holder’s testimony on this count before passing final judgment on Johnsen’s nomination.”

Wilson said that the Senate needed to delay consideration of Johnsen until the FOIA request had been fulfilled. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said, adding, “there are some serious issues of fact that must be resolved, and all Senate deliberation on the nominee should be delayed until the Justice Department stops stonewalling our request.”

Wilson pointed to a DOJ memorandum recommitting the Department of Justice to Barack Obama’s promise for his Administration “to be the most open and transparent ever” as “pathetic.”

“In an apparent preparation for April Fool’s Day, the DOJ issued its memo reaffirming the Obama Administration’s ‘commitment’ to transparency. What a joke,” Wilson said.

Since filing the request, Mehrens has sent a follow-up letter to the DOJ, and Wilson urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to postpone consideration of Johnsen.

According to the law, “Each agency, upon any request for records… shall… determine within 20 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the receipt of any such request whether to comply with such request and shall immediately notify the person making such request of such determination and the reasons therefor, and of the right of such person to appeal to the head of the agency any adverse determination.”

“Eric Holder can try to make Dawn Johnsen’s acting out duties appear ‘normal,’ but the fact is Johnsen acting is in clear contradiction of the constitutional Advice and Consent Clause and should be enough to torpedo her nomination,” Wilson concluded.


Freedom of Information Act Request, October 26th, 2009.

Letter to Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, February 24th, 2010.

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee, February 25th, 2010.

Letter from Congressman Steve King to DOJ Office of Legal Counsel, March 1st, 2010.

ALG Backgrounder on Dawn Johnson, December 10th, 2009.


ALG Action News Teams Moving into Massachusetts For Major Ballot Integrity Operation  

January 15th, 2010, Fairfax, VA–Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today announced that his organization’s news team will help insure ballot integrity in Tuesday’s Massachusetts senatorial election by positioning video teams, field reporters, and bloggers at key locations throughout the state.

“We do not intend to let ACORN and the union bosses stuff the ballot box,” Wilson said. “Whoever wins, win. But, as a news organization, we will do whatever is necessary to help insure that the race is run fairly, that ACORN is not allowed to play games with the vote, and that the union bosses are not allowed to intimidate voters.

“The hard left is determined to keep the so-called ‘Kennedy seat.’ That’s where ACORN and the union bosses come in. The people of Massachusetts deserve a fair and open election. That’s where we come in. ”

Wilson’s ALG Massachusetts Action News Teams will include video crews, field reporters, and ‘instant-access’ bloggers spread across the state. As footage, reports, tweets, and blogs come in, they will be fed in real time to reporters nationwide.

Wilson said reporters and the public would be able to monitor the news reports “at our special election headquarters on WashingtonNewsAlert.com.”

The operation is being sponsored by the Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

Wilson declined to disclose precisely where the ALG Action News Teams will be located, saying only that they will be “wherever we believe ACORN and the union bosses intend to employ their bully tactics. And that includes key precincts, as well as their own headquarters.”

Wilson said that the election observers were “absolutely necessary to preserve the integrity of the nation’s electoral processes.”

“As U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has shown, the Justice Department does not even care about nightstick-wielding thugs stationed outside of polling locations in Philadelphia, and so somebody has to monitor this special election. All citizens have a right to a fair and clean election process,” Wilson explained.

“We know their tactics. They are unseemly and, frankly, thuggish,” Wilson said. “As the New York Times reported in 2005, Andy Stern has threatened, ‘Sometimes this can be done with the power of persuasion. Sometimes it takes the persuasion of power.’

“Everything they try to do in the shadows, we will bring to light. Every time they intimidate a voter, we will embolden the voters to fight back. For the first time every move they make will be made public – and the camera doesn’t blink,” Wilson concluded.