TAMPA, Fla. — Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder is barely hanging on to his post atop the Department of Justice during what he and his fellow Republicans hope are the final days of President Barack Obama’s administration.
“They’re running out the clock right now,” Cornyn, who asked Holder personally for his resignation during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this year, said in an interview at the Republican National Convention. “That’s just where we are.”
In a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives held Holder in civil and criminal contempt of Congress in June over his failure to cooperate with congressional subpoenas for documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. That law-enforcement “gunwalking” initiative, organized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and overseen by the Department of Justice, sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via “straw purchasers” who legally bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else.
In addition to hundreds of Mexican nationals, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with a gun sent to Mexico as part of the ill-fated program. Allegations have surfaced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was also murdered with Fast and Furious weapons.
Cornyn said he’s “not willing to concede that Obama’s going to be re-elected.” But he warned that if Obama should win in November, the Department of Justice in a second Obama term might be as disastrous as in his first.
“Hopefully it would be without Eric Holder,” Cornyn said of that possibility. “Barack Obama is Eric Holder’s only lifeline to his job. I don’t know of anybody in the country who has confidence in Eric Holder other than Barack Obama, so I hope he would find a new attorney general.”
But Cornyn, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, added that he’s working hard to build a GOP majority in the Senate to give Republicans more oversight options regardless of which party controls the White House and the DOJ.
“With a Republican majority [in the Senate], we’d have the ability to the kind of oversight that’s been sorely missing, at least on the Senate side,” Cornyn said. “Congressman [Darrell] Issa has done heroic work, [Sen.] Chuck Grassley — who’s sort of led us on these issues — has done a good job. But there’s a lot more we can do with a majority, being able to compel witnesses to come forward, and build that record which would bring a lot of this stuff out in the light of day, which is where it belongs.”