Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder’s race-card play to attack his critics is “absolutely horrendous.” But Gosar said he thinks race may have played a role in the Department of Justice’s execution of Operation Fast and Furious — but in a different way from how Holder is framing it.
“He [Holder] brought up the race card, and while I think it’s absolutely horrendous that he would bring up the race card, in Fast and Furious, we were in fact impugning the Mexican people,” Gosar said in a phone interview. “About 300 people have lost their lives.”
“When the attorney general brings up the race card, he’d better be very, very careful — particularly for the Hispanics and what’s happened to them,” Gosar adds. “He’s been very insensitive, not only to the [U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian] Terry family in making an apology and making it very public, but where’s the apology to the Mexican government and the families of the victims in Mexico?”
In a front page Sunday New York Times story this weekend, Holder said an unspecified faction of his critics — which he called the “more extreme segment” — is driven to criticize both him and President Barack Obama because of the color of their skin.
“This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” Holder said, according to the Times. “Both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”
Gosar said documents and testimony have proven that Holder’s inner circle, which includes DOJ Criminal Division head Assistant Attorney General Breuer and Holder’s current chief of staff, former Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, was well aware of the major pieces of this puzzle.
Breuer, he said, knew the details of what happened during the Bush administration’s Operation Wide Receiver. In that program, a more limited number of guns were allowed to “walk” into Mexico, but in coordination with the Mexican government.
There are documents, complete with Grindler’s own handwriting, proving he knew the details of Operation Fast and Furious as early as Spring 2010.
But Gosar said the DOJ higher-ups’ intimate knowledge of what would happen with these Fast and Furious weapons after they were allowed to walk into Mexico didn’t stop Holder’s Justice Department from plowing forward with the operation.
“Even with cooperation from the Mexican government [during Operation Wide Receiver] and with surveillance and with tracking, we lost over half of the 200 guns that were walked,” Gosar said. “What were they expecting to happen [in Operation Fast and Furious]?”
“So, were they racially profiling or not by allowing this to happen to the Mexican people?,” Gosar asks. “They knew the guns would end up in drug cartels’ hands and criminals’ hands. They were going to be used to kill people. So, were they racially motivated? That’s what I want to ask the attorney general.”