In the months between the DOJ sending that false letter to Grassley, and its subsequent retraction, congressional investigators held multiple hearings and interviewed many witnesses behind closed doors. They continued searching for documents and in early October, they found that Holder himself was sent a series of memos detailing the gunwalking tactics used in Fast and Furious. In the time since Congress obtained them, Holder has said he didn’t read the memos.
The discovery of those memos — and Holder’s statements that he didn’t read them — sparked scores of members of Congress to demand his resignation. A total of 129 House members have called for Holder to go. Three U.S. senators, two sitting governors and presumptive GOP presidential nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney join those congressmen in demanding Holder’s ouster.
When The Daily Caller asked him about the surge in congressional calls for his resignation in late November 2011 at a White House event, Holder attacked TheDC rather than responding, saying, “You guys need to — you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening — you guys are behind it.”
Since then, Holder has accused his critics of being racists and he has attacked members of Congress during hearings, all while continuing to stonewall congressional investigators and not holding anyone accountable for Fast and Furious.
One DOJ official decided to plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid incriminating himself while testifying about Fast and Furious before Oversight Committee investigators.
Shortly after congressional investigators discovered the memos Holder says he didn’t read, Issa served Holder with a subpoena. Holder has demonstrably failed to comply with all 22 parts of that congressional subpoena that Issa served him last October. With respect to 13 of the subpoena’s categories, Holder has provided no documents. He is not fully compliant with the subpoena’s other sections, either.
Holder has continually denied the DOJ’s involvement in, or awareness of, Fast and Furious and its gunwalking tactics, blaming ATF officials in Phoenix for coming up with and orchestrating the scheme. Now, though, Issa says he has documents that prove those Holder’s statements are false.
In the letter, Issa said Holder’s comments at a Sept. 7, 2011 press conference, an Oct. 7, 2011 letter he wrote to Congress and two different instances where he testified before different congressional committees — testimony he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 8, 2011, and to the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 2, 2012 — were incorrect.
In each of those statements, Holder denied that senior Department of Justice officials were aware of gun-walking tactics used in Fast and Furious — something that has since been shown to be incorrect.
“We now know all that all of these statements are not accurate,” Issa wrote to Holder.
Issa also told Holder in that letter that Deputy Attorney General James Cole — the DOJ’s No. 2 in command — made a false statement to Congress as recently as May 2012. “In a May 15, 2012 letter, the deputy attorney general reiterated the department’s position that the ‘inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious … were not initiated of authorized by department leadership in Washington.’”
“We now know that statement is false,” Issa said.
Mexico’s ambassador to the United States recently announced that his country has launched its own investigation into Fast and Furious, and that the Mexican people have lost faith in the U.S. government because of the scandal.
“Regardless of whether this was or was not the intent or the design of Fast and Furious, the thinking that you can let guns walk across the border and maintain operational control of those weapons is really an outstanding lack of understanding of how these criminal organizations are operating on both sides of our common borders,” the ambassador, Arturo Sarukhan, said last week, adding that he thinks the Obama administration had significantly damaged its popularity in Mexico.