In October 2011, memos surfaced that showed Holder was given critical details of Fast and Furious — including that guns were allowed to walk — while the operation was still underway. Though Holder said he never read the memos, members of Congress began demanding his resignation over the scandal.
Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar told The Daily Caller that he thought Obama administration officials responsible for Fast and Furious could be considered accessories to murder because people died as a result of their actions. That prompted Holder’s first-ever unsolicited letter to Issa about the scandal, in which he attacked Gosar’s comments as “inflammatory rhetoric.”
Later in October, Issa served Holder with a subpoena legally requiring him to provide 22 categories worth of Fast and Furious documents to Congress.
As resignation calls built into November, Holder lost his temper when TheDC pressed him to respond to questioning at a White House event: “You guys need to — you need to stop this,” Holder said of TheDC’s reporting. “It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it.”
In December 2011, Holder’s DOJ withdrew Weich’s February 2011 letter denying gunwalking in Fast and Furious with the admission that it was false and the whistle-blowers’ accusations were correct.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney demanded Holder’s resignation in early December 2011, and during a Dec. 8, 2011, House Judiciary Committee hearing, Holder admitted that more people in Mexico would likely die because of the walked guns that have yet to be recovered. At least 300 Mexican civilians have been killed with Fast and Furious weapons.
As the calls for his resignation mounted, Holder went to Charlie Savage of The New York Times for an interview on the topic and played the race card: “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” Holder said. “Both due to the nature of our relationship, and you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”
Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, himself a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, denounced Holder’s use of race to attack his detractors, calling it the “last card in the deck.”
Gosar introduced an official House resolution of “no confidence” in Holder, which members started signing en masse.
More members of Congress kept adding to the demands for Holder’s resignation in the early months of 2012. Holder missed deadline after deadline and kept refusing to provide Fast and Furious documents to Congress. Then, hours before a House oversight committee hearing in early February, TheDC broke a story about how Holder pulled the plug on prosecutions of alleged financial criminals and bribed U.S. Virgin Islands politicians, further adding to the attorney general’s public challenges.
As spring 2012 came around, a total of 129 House members had called for Holder’s resignation. Seven U.S. senators and two sitting governors — Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Perry of Texas — joined them. Groups like the AFL-CIO-backed National Border Patrol Council, the Republican National Lawyers Association and more have demanded Holder’s resignation as well.