After the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday on CNBC that there was the “impression” of a cover-up.
“He hasn’t explained why there was a misrepresentation — or, if you want, a lie — to the Congress whether there was knowledge of this Fast and Furious program. There clearly was a letter sent to Congress that was false. There was knowledge of this,” Giuliani on “The Kudlow Report.”
“Congress has a right to explore who knew, who authorized. If they would just comply and answer, you wouldn’t be in this situation. I have no idea why they’re being this obstreperous about it.”
The House voted 255-67 in favor of censuring, for the first time, a sitting Cabinet member. More than 100 Democrats boycotted the vote.
The move came after Holder refused to hand over without any preconditions documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed hundreds of guns to be smuggled from Arizona to Mexico, according to The Associated Press.
Asked by host Larry Kudlow if the Obama administration’s actions meant there was a cover-up, Giuliani said, “I have no idea.”
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“They’re giving the impression that there is. That doesn’t always mean that there is, but they’re certainly giving the impression that there is,” he added.
The National Rifle Association pressed hard for the contempt resolution, according to the AP. Holder called the vote a politically motivated act in an election year.
Giuliani, a one-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, also weighed in on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding the federal Affordable Care Act.
Specifically, he took issue with Chief Justice John Roberts not limiting the federal government’s taxing powers.
“I mean, if they can tax your failure to buy health insurance, they can tax your failure to do exercises. Or your failure to eat the foods they want you to eat,” he said. “This could be very, very dangerous. We’re giving now Barack Obama the power to tax us if we don’t breathe the way he wants us to breathe.”
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The nation’s highest court upheld the constitutionality of the health care law, although Roberts made a point to dismiss the government’s power to pass such a law under the commerce clause. Instead, he called the health care law a tax, which falls explicitly within the powers of the federal government.
Giuliani said the decision would ultimately benefit Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“People do not want government-controlled medicine. They don’t want mandates. They don’t want to be told that they have to buy health insurance. And they don’t want to be in a position where the federal government can just tax now to an unlimited degree. This court’s decision puts no limit on the taxing power of the federal government, and that is very frightening,” he said.
Giuliani did not mention Medicare or Medicaid, which the health care law expanded – but whose penalties for noncompliant states the Supreme Court nixed.
“I think there’s been a whole new issue that’s been created here, which is they could do anything they wanted under the commerce clause – well, we stopped that – now they can do anything they want on the taxing clause,” he said.