Rep. Gosar asks House leadership for floor vote on Eric Holder ‘no confidence’ resolution
Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar is asking House GOP leaders to bring his resolution of “no confidence” in Attorney General Eric Holder over Operation Fast and Furious to the floor for a full House vote.
“Despite having been held in contempt of Congress and currently facing a federal lawsuit, Attorney General Holder continues to believe that he is above the law. Congress and the public have demanded for over a year answers and accountability from the Attorney General, yet received neither,” Gosar said in a Friday statement. “Let us move forward with my resolution to let the Attorney General know that the American people have lost their faith in him for good reason, and it is time for him to go.”
Gosar’s call for leadership to move on the resolution comes as the Department of Justice’s internal inspector general is expected to come out with his investigation into Fast and Furious – and subsequently testify before House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s committee next week.
In a Friday letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith – on which House Speaker John Boehner is copied – Gosar pointed out how the judiciary and oversight committees have “worked tirelessly” over the past year and a half “to interview witnesses and investigate who authorized and supervised Operation Fast and Furious.”
“Beginning in October 2011, Congressional investigators have sent numerous subpoenas uncover pertinent and critical details about the involvement of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the inception, planning, approval, management and ultimate termination of Operation Fast and Furious,” Gosar wrote. “As you know, the DOJ has not made key witnesses available for questioning and its response to legitimate and proper document requests has been anemic at best. A pattern of obstructionism by the executive branch is clear – and so in June of this year, the House was forced to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress. The resulting federal court case in order to compel these documents is ongoing.”
Gosar goes on to say that both Democrats and Republicans “should be disgusted by the utter disdain and obstructionism this department has displayed for Congress’ constitutional oversight authority of the executive branch.”
Gosar asks Smith to “approve favorably or discharge” his resolution of no confidence in Holder from the Judiciary Committee, to which it was originally referred, and send it the floor of the House for a full vote.
The resolution, first introduced in December 2011, now has 115 signers including Gosar.
The resolution alleges that Holder’s actions have proven the nation’s “top law enforcement official” is not “competent, trustworthy and beyond reproach” and that he has sought to “cover up” mistakes when they are made rather than cooperating with Congress “in disclosing the events and circumstances and transparently addressing the issues.”
The measure describes how Holder “presided over a law enforcement scheme called ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ that was ill conceived at the outset and mismanaged.”
It describes Fast and Furious as an operation that “allowed thousands of weapons of various types to be illegally sold and or transferred from the United States to violent drug cartels and known criminals in Mexico and elsewhere” and that the operation “was not set up to catch criminals and no proper monitoring of the guns being sold or transferred was undertaken.”
The resolution also points out that Holder “further failed to inform or cooperate with Mexican authorities even though hundreds of weapons were being sent to Mexico” and that “Mexico is under severe stress to due drug cartel wars.”
It adds that due to Holder’s “failure to properly control, monitor, or establish Operation Fast and Furious, it is likely Mexican nationals were killed or wounded by weapons sold through this scheme” and that “the carnage resulting from Operation Fast and Furious is not limited to Mexico.” (SEE ALSO: TheDC’s complete Fast and Furious coverage)
The measure points out that “evidence further suggests that such guns have been used in the United States, and may be involved in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.”
The resolution explains that the Obama administration and the Justice Department, “through Attorney General Holder’s office, initially provided false information to Congress,” “retaliated” against whistleblowers who provided Congress with information and “has redacted key information and has been intransigent, obstructionist, and obdurate.”
A House Judiciary Committee aide told TheDC that the House of Representatives “made clear that it has no confidence in the Attorney General when it held him in contempt earlier this year for refusing to be transparent with the American people about Operation Fast & Furious.”
“Chairman Smith held numerous hearings on the Attorney General’s failure to respond to legitimate congressional inquiries and supported the contempt resolution on the House floor. The House continues to work toward the enforcement of the contempt citation to restore much-needed transparency and accountability from this Administration.”
A Boehner spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.
This story was updated after publication to include a comment from a house Judiciary Committee aide.