Republican congressmen Bill Flores of Texas and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey have added their names to a list of members of Congress calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s immediate resignation, increasing that list’s number to 38.
A spokesperson for Flores said he is calling for Holder’s resignation “in light of Tuesday’s testimony” before the Senate Judiciary Committee. During that hearing, Holder deflected questions about who he is holding accountable for the scandal-prone Operation Fast and Furious, changed the timeline of his recollections, refused to provide details about a letter to Congress containing at least one false statement, and said he had not spoken to the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
On Tuesday former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke admitted to leaking documents aimed at smearing Fast and Furious whistle-blowers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When Burke resigned in August, Holder issued a glowing statement saying he “demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Terry’s family broke their nearly year-long silence since his murder, issuing their first statement about what they think of the congressional investigation into the scandal. The Border Patrol agent was killed in December 2010 by a gun trafficked into Mexico as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.
“Mr. Holder needs to own Operation Fast and Furious,” the Terry family’s statement read. “In the end, Mr. Holder may chose not to apologize to the Terry family for the role that ATF and DOJ played in the death of Brian Terry, but the Attorney General should accept responsibility immediately. It is without question, the right thing to do.”
They added that even if Holder did not know guns were trafficked into Mexico via straw purchasers, he should have had that information. Straw purchasers are people who could legally purchase weapons in the United States, but did so with the intention of illegally transporting them into Mexico. (THE DANCE: Holder avoids congressional questions on Fast and Furious accountability)
“The Attorney General has said that he did not know about the flawed tactics being used by ATF in Operation Fast and Furious; if this is true and he did not know, then he should have known,” their statement read. “After all, he is the Attorney General of the United States and the head of the Department of Justice under which ATF belongs.”
The Justice Department and the White House continue to ignore calls for Holder’s resignation despite their steady growth in recent weeks. DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler again wouldn’t comment when TheDC asked her Wednesday for a response to news that 38 congressmen now think Holder should resign immediately.
Members who have previously called for Holder’s immediate resignation include: Rep. Connie Mack, Rep. Walter Jones, Rep. Dan Burton, House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica, House Small Business Committee Chairman 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, Kenny Marchant, Thaddeus McCotter, Diane Black, Bob Latta, Denny Rehberg and Vicky Hartzler.