During yet another round of testimony in front of Congress, Republicans once again demanded Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation over the bungled operation known as ‘Fast and Furious,’ in which guns were stolen from the ATF. Republicans have accused Holder, time and time again, of hiding information and are calling for him to resign his post. But Holder is not staying silent anymore. In front of Congress, Holder blasted Republicans for playing politics, criticized them for being hypocrites for being silent when a similar screw-up happened under George W. Bush, and flatly refused to resign in a brilliant statement.
SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (R): In short, you’ve violated the public trust in my view and, by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office.
It’s more with sorrow than regret, than with anger, that I would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office.
Americans deserve an attorney general who will be honest with them. They deserve an attorney general who will uphold the basic standards of political independence and accountability. You’ve proven time and time again, sadly, that you are unwilling to do so. The American people deserve better. They deserve an attorney general who is accountable and independent. They deserve an attorney general who puts justice before politics.
It’s my sincere hope that President Obama will replace you with someone who is up to that challenge.
HOLDER: “With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with, it’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy, but, I’ll simply leave it at that.
You know, we want to talk about Fast and Furious, this is, I guess, what, the ninth time?— [turning to an aide who nods “yes”]—this is now the ninth time that I have answered questions before a congressional committee about “Fast and Furious.”
If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An attorney general whom I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called “Wide Receiver” and did nothing to stop them. Nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, “walked” in that instance.
I’m also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I’m also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorneys office that was involved, have overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn’t happen ever again.
So I don’t have any intention of resigning. I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. I don’t have any reason to believe that in fact is not the case.
And in terms of, you know, what is it that we have turned over to Congress in this regard, let’s put something on the record here. … We have collected data from 240 custodians, we have processed millions of electronic records, looked at over 140,000 documents, turned over 7,600 pages. Over the course of 46 separate productions, we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed.
And I’ve also said, indicated, I guess, earlier in my testimony, to the extent that all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns that have been raised in the House committee, I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. I have sent letters in that regard, the deputy attorney general has sent letters in that regard, and have not had responses. Which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation but for a political point-making. And that is the kind of thing that, you know, you and and your side, I guess, have the ability to do if that’s what you want to do. It is the kind of thing that I think turns people off about Washington. While we have very serious problems, we still have this political gamesmanship.”
Sounds like Eric Holder is more than capable of standing up to Republicans and calling them out. And he has good reason to do so. This is the ninth time Holder has had to appear before Congress on this issue and it’s not only a waste of time, it’s a waste of taxpayer money. Instead of dealing with matters of Justice such as the Florida voter purge and other Republican efforts to strip justice from the American people, Holder is being kept from performing his critical duties by Republicans who only seek to play politics instead of dealing with the country’s problems. Perhaps it’s time for Holder to investigate the sabotage effort Republican members of Congress have been orchestrating since President Obama took office in 2008. After all, what goes around should come around.