Attorney General Eric Holder's Oklahoma City Police Cadet Graduation Speech Canceled
Updated April 24, 2014 at 9:23 a.m.
The Oklahoma City Police Department says a planned appearance and speech by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at graduation ceremony for cadets has been canceled.
"Federal Judge Vickie Miles LaGrange will assume the honor in his absence," police spokesman Capt. Dexter Nelson said in a statement. "Several security measures will remain in place for the event due to a number of planned protests."
Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon says Holder will still be traveling to Oklahoma City on Thursday — but because of a late departure from Washington D.C., he is unable to make the speech.
Some conservative politicians and activists had planned to protest Holder's speech Thursday afternoon. But Holder's visit raised concern among activists and lawmakers in Oklahoma, including Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford, a candidate for U.S. Senate.
Lankford said in a statement Holder's visit was inappropriate given what he called Holder's "tactics of obfuscation and redirection of blame."
"Given his numerous questionable decisions, his unwillingness to cooperate with congressional investigations and his Justice Department’s opacity under this President, he would not be my first choice to stand as this Administration’s example of justice, leadership and integrity," Lankford said.
Lankford serves on the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating Holder's office.
"Holder’s action before Congress and his unwillingness to cooperate with our investigations of Operation Fast & Furious, the IRS targeting scandal and numerous other Justice Department boondoggles led the U. S. House to finally hold him in Contempt of Congress," Lankford said. "For an executive agency with ‘justice’ in their title, they seem remarkably reticent to seek it when it involves their boss."
State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore) called Holder's cancelation a "victory" for state lawmakers who were planning to protest.
“We will still hold the demonstration because we believe that Holder should be impeached," Wesselhoft said in a statement. "This is a significant lesson in political activism. When conservatives organize, we often win.”