Rep. Raul Labrador, an Idaho Republican, called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign Thursday, after “Operation Fast and Furious” documents surfaced showing he knew about the scandal and its intricate details.
“I first learned about Fast and Furious early this year from several of my constituents,” Labrador said in a release. “I then asked Chairman Issa to hold hearings on the topic. As I attended the hearings and reviewed the evidence, I was careful to not jump to any conclusions about the extent of Mr. Holder’s involvement. However, the recently published documents that directly link Mr. Holder to Fast and Furious have convinced me that he is either lying or grossly incompetent.”
The new documents directly contradict Holder’s May 3 congressional testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. It is also at odds with what the U.S. Department of Justice has publicly claimed since some documents surfaced earlier this week showing that Holder was briefed on the controversial gun-walking program.
House Oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa has already said that Holder is either incompetent as a leader, or has deliberately deceived Congress while under oath.
When that first round of documents emerged this week, Justice Department officials almost immediately claimed Holder misunderstood questions from Issa and Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz at the May 3 hearing during which Holder said he had only known about “Fast and Furious” for a few weeks.
CBS News reported after those documents came out, however, that the DOJ claimed Holder did know about Fast and Furious, but was unaware of its specific details.
On Tuesday, Rep. Chaffetz told TheDC that the DOJ’s response won’t “hold any water,” since Holder had several chances during the hearing — and has had many more since — to clarify or correct his testimony to ensure its accuracy.
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who led the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious with Issa, said these new documents prove Holder knew the details of the operation and debunk the DOJ’s latest explanation.
“With the fairly detailed information that the attorney general read, it seems the logical question for the attorney general after reading in the memo would be ‘why haven’t we stopped them?’” Grassley said in a statement. “And if he didn’t ask the questions, why didn’t he or somebody in his office?”
Rep. Labrador is the first member of Congress to call for Holder’s resignation. He said Holder’s May 3 testimony was “either untrue or deliberately misleading.”
“Attorney General Holder has a troubling pattern of failed cooperation with the legislative branch,” Labrador said. “Because of this intentional stonewalling and his misleading testimony, I now call for Mr. Holder’s resignation. It is clear he has not been honest about the extent of his involvement with the failed Fast and Furious program and should not be entrusted with managing the Department of Justice.”
In an interview with TheDC on Wednesday, Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar suggested that Obama administration officials responsible for Operation Fast and Furious are accessories to murder.
Labrador’s open call follows the suggestion Rep. Blake Farenthold made on NRA News’s Cam and Company Tuesday night. “I would probably resign if that came out, if I had done that,” Farenthold said on the show, referencing how Holder knew about Fast and Furious.
*This story has been updated.