House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa told The Daily Caller that if Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t “doomed” because of his handling of Operation Fast and Furious, the entire Obama administration is.
“If the [Obama] administration continues to have full confidence in a failed administration by Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, then ultimately the administration is going to be doomed,” Issa told TheDC during an interview in San Diego on Saturday. “Eric Holder seems to have the full confidence of the president, and I can’t understand why.”
Issa chairs the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, putting him in charge of the principal vehicle House Republicans use to investigate the Obama administration. The California Republican has developed a reputation inside the beltway as “Mr. Subpoena” — a bulldog investigator who forces results.
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is also driving the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.
Issa’s comments about Holder’s fate, and President Barack Obama’s continued willingness to protect his scandal-plagued attorney general, come as 52 members of Congress are demanding Holder’s immediate resignation. One of those lawmakers is 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has also demanded Holder step down, as has National Rifle Association president David Keene.
Those calling for Holder’s resignation believe Holder is either incompetent or dishonest. His controversial appearances on Capitol Hill have led to speculation that he misled Congress about his knowledge of Fast and Furious, and about when he first learned of the failed gun-walking program.
Obama’s refusal to hold Holder accountable for Fast and Furious — along with his administration’s continued willingness to stonewall Congressional investigators — is taking a center stage heading into the 2012 election season. Texas Gov. Rick Perry finally addressed Fast and Furious for the first time on Friday. He stopped short of demanding Holder’s ouster, but his willingness to enter the fray may be a sign that Fast and Furious will be a political hot potato next year.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, both GOP presidential hopefuls, have also made veiled calls for Holder to step down from his position as America’s top law-enforcement officer. (RELATED: Full coverage of Attorney General Eric Holder)
Several members of Congress asking Holder to step down have indicated they believe Obama is “complicit” in Operation Fast and Furious if he fails to hold Holder accountable.
The White House and the Justice Department have continued to ignore the growing surge of lawmakers rendering what amounts to a no-confidence vote on Holder’s performance. That could change quickly with Issa, the House of Representatives’ top investigator, saying Holder may be “doomed.” While Democrats are staying silent on the matter, they have avoided defending the attorney general.