WH, Justice Dept. silent as 34 congressmen call for Holder’s resignation

Matthew Boyle - The Daily Caller

There are now 34 members of Congress calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s immediate resignation, as four more called for Holder to step down on Wednesday.

The new members calling for Holder’s resignation are Republican Reps. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Diane Black of Tennessee, Bob Latta of Ohio and Kenny Marchant of Texas.

“I call upon Attorney General Holder to resign his post as our nation’s top law enforcement official,” Marchant said in a statement to The Daily Caller. “Ever since the first details of Operation Fast and Furious emerged, Attorney General Holder has been less than forthright with Congress as to his knowledge of Fast and Furious. Unfortunately, this ill-conceived operation has already led to the killing of a border patrol agent.”

Marchant questions Holder’s testimony before Congress at a May 3 Judiciary Committee hearing, during which he said he hadn’t learned of Operation Fast and Furious until a few weeks earlier — even though Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told TheDC he personally handed Holder a letter on the topic months earlier when the attorney general was in his office. Senior aides also sent Holder numerous briefing memos on the subject, including the name and intimate details of the failed operation, as early as July 2010. Holder now claims he didn’t read the memos.

Another reason it appears as though Holder lied to Congress on May 3 is that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both discussed Operation Fast and Furious in media interviews about a month before Holder claims he knew of it. Republican Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Jason Chaffetz of Utah have asked Obama to clarify how he was able to speak about Operation Fast and Furious in a media interview while Holder was apparently, at least according to his claims, unaware of the operation.

Marchant said these inconsistencies and others on Holder’s part indicate the country has an Attorney General “who seems to be engaged in active deception of Congress and, yet, at other times seems to know very little regarding what happened.”

“The Justice Department’s leadership has been compromised and Congress still isn’t receiving answers as to who knew what and when,” Marchant said. “It is clear that Attorney General Holder cannot continue to serve under this cloud of controversy and should step down immediately.”

Marchant added that he supports House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas in calls for a special prosecutor to determine if Holder — or any other Obama administration officials — lied to, or intentionally misled, Congress.

“The American people deserve to have answers and I am confident a Special Counsel would shed light on what really happened,” Marchant said.

Black, a tea party favorite from Tennessee, told TheDC she thinks Holder needs to answer to the American people as well.

“Eric Holder needs to come clean about what he knew and when, and then he has to go,” Black told TheDC. “A man with a basic credibility problem has no business running the Department of Justice.”

The White House and the Justice Department continue to ignore the surge in calls for Holder’s immediate resignation. Spokespeople for the White House and the DOJ haven’t answered TheDC’s requests for comment.

Several members of Congress have signaled their disappointment with Holder, but haven’t yet called for his resignation. Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry’s spokesperson told TheDC he “thinks [Holder] should have never been appointed in the first place.”

Also, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri thinks Holder “should resign if the allegations are true.”

New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce told TheDC that Holder wasn’t “forthright in his previous testimony before Congress, and raised far more questions than he answered.”

“At this point, it appears that a full scale cover up occurred, and Mr. Holder must answer the fundamental questions of what he knew and when he knew it, as should the White House staff who knew the details of ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’” Pearce told TheDC. “I would like to see the Congressional investigation run its course and for Mr. Holder to show the veracity we rightfully expect from public officials.”

A spokesman for Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana told TheDC that “the American people deserve to know the truth about Fast and Furious.”

“Congressman Scalise believes that a special counsel should be appointed to investigate the scandal so that the American people can find out exactly what happened and who we will hold accountable for this fatally-flawed operation,” Scalise’s spokesperson said in an email.

Previous members who’ve called for Holder’s immediate resignation include: Rep. Connie Mack, Rep. Walter Jones, Rep. Dan Burton, House Transportation Committee chairman Rep. John Mica, House Small Business Committee chairman Rep. Sam Graves and Reps. Ted Poe, Blake Farenthold, Louie Gohmert, Quico Canseco, Rodney Alexander, Paul Gosar, Allen West, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Pompeo, Duncan Hunter, Devin Nunes, Dennis Ross, Trent Franks, Lynn Jenkins, Raul Labrador, Joe Walsh, Gus Bilirakis, Paul Broun, Randy Hultgren, Stephen Fincher, John Culberson, Michael Grimm, Andy Harris, Mike Coffman and Vicky Hartzler.

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