The surge in congressional calls for Attorney General Eric Holder’s immediate resignation has reached a new milestone: More than 50 members of Congress are now demanding Holder step down in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious.
The number of congressmen calling for Holder’s immediate resignation is now 51. New additions to that list include Republican Reps. Todd Akin and Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.
Rep. Westmoreland said Operation Fast and Furious was a disgrace to the American people and that Holder needs to resign immediately.
“Fast and Furious played fast and loose with the American public’s safety, leaving a U.S. Border patrol agent dead and DOJ-purchased guns in the hands of Mexican drug lords,” Westmoreland told The Daily Caller. “To say this program was a failure and an embarrassment to the U.S. justice system is an understatement.”
“No matter how many times the attorney general’s statement of when he was aware of Operation Fast and Furious changes — and it has changed almost daily — at the end of the day, he is the head of the Department of Justice and the buck stops with him,” said Westmoreland.
“It’s time for Mr. Holder to hold himself accountable,” he added.
On Thursday morning there were 46 congressmen demanding Holder’s resignation. Holder is currently on a taxpayer-subsidized junket in the Caribbean with his spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, who has repeatedly declined to answer questions about the increasing congressional disapproval of Holder’s job performance.
Akin and Luetkemeyer had not previously called for Holder’s immediate resignation, but cast doubts on the truthfulness of the attorney general’s testimony before Congress. (THE DAILY CALLER: Complete Operation Fast and Furious coverage)
“Given Mr. Holder’s inconsistencies and general lack of compelling testimony before the Judiciary Committee on such a serious matter as the ‘fast and furious’ gun walking debacle, his resignation would go a long way to restoring credibility to the office he now holds,” Akin told TheDC.
The recent surge in calls for Holder’s resignation can be attributed to two factors. First, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, the third congressman to demand Holder step down, hosted a press conference on Tuesday to amplify calls for Holder’s resignation. Second, Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois is currently circulating a letter on Capitol Hill asking for Holder to resign or for Obama to fire him.
The Walsh letter, addressed to Obama, urges him to “hold attorney general Eric Holder accountable for Operation Fast and Furious” and “ask for his immediate resignation.”
The new congressmen demanding Holder step down now are also signatories to Walsh’s letter — which currently has 39 co-signers.
The White House and the Justice Department remain silent as pressure for Holder’s immediate resignation builds, which may be a sign that the Obama administration is prepared to force Holder out if it is politically necessary.