Rep. Sandy Adams: Holder either ‘incompetent’ or ‘not being truthful,’ should step down

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

Florida Republican Rep. Sandy Adams told The Daily Caller she thinks Attorney General Eric Holder should resign over the deadly Operation Fast and Furious scandal. She is the 55th House member to demand Holder step down. Two senators, four presidential candidates and two sitting governors have also called for Holder’s resignation.

“I think he is ultimately responsible,” Adams told TheDC on Friday. “So, that’s why I believe either one of two things has happened: Either he’s incompetent and he can’t run his agency, or he’s not being truthful. Either way, I think it’s time for him to step down.” (SEE ALSO: Latest coverage of Fast and Furious)

“I think he’s lost all credibility and I think based on his testimony yesterday — I mean, he is the head law enforcement person in our country, and for him to say that something that crosses international borders doesn’t rise to the attention of the attorney general, what does?” she added. “Because he couldn’t answer that, the reality of it is, he lost his credibility. And we need someone who has credibility to lead the chief law enforcement agency of our country.”

Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and Adams grilled him in a different way from most other members. She asked him about whether the DOJ follows standards for law enforcement agencies established by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Those standards require accredited agencies to consider a higher-ranking official responsible for the actions of lower-ranking officials who report to him.

“I assume that would be a yes,” Holder responded during to Adams’ question.

“You assume? Then, you would agree that supervisory personnel are accountable for the performance of the people underneath them, correct?,” Adams followed up.

“As a general rule, sure, yes,” Holder answered.

Adams, a former deputy sheriff, also addressed a rule that emails indicate ATF agents were pursuing, one that would use the negative outcomes of Fast and Furious as leverage to enforce new limitations on multiple purchases of rifles and other “long guns.”

“You know, I listen intently because I’m one of those law enforcement officers — I’m not a lawyer or anything else,” Adams said. “I’m going to come at in a different area. I take issue with you saying we’re trying to make political points with Officer Terry’s death. To me, it’s personal. Okay? It’s not political.”

U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed by a weapon moved across the Mexican border as a part of Operation Fast and Furious.

“One of our officers was killed with weapons that were allowed to walk,” Adams continued. “That should never have happened. I have worked in undercover. We never would allow weapons to walk. Now, I’ve heard you say, if we get this provision, the long gun [reporting rule], it would help. The problem is, under Fast and Furious, it wouldn’t have helped, would it? Those weapons still would have walked, wouldn’t they?”

Holder initially conceded, but then disputed, that the guns in question would still have “walked” acros the Mexican border even with the long gun reporting rule in pace. “There’s no question that the implementation of that long gun rule will decrease the possibility of further tragedy,” he said.

“Mr. Attorney General,” Adams replied, “my question was, under Fast and Furious, those weapons still would have walked, would they not? … yes or no?”

Holder refused to answer.

He also said he doesn’t believe Fast and Furious meets the definition of a “major operation.”

“I was a quite surprised to hear him say he doesn’t think this rises to the level of a major operation,” Adams told TheDC during a phone interview Friday. “His agency was responsible for allowing firearms to walk across international borders. I believe that rises to the level.”

She also explained her focus on CALEA standards for law enforcement. “In the accreditation process, they make sure that supervisors are accountable for the people that report to them. … The chief or the sheriff, or whoever the head of that agency is, knows what’s going on, is briefed regularly on the different aspects of it, and actually knows about something of this magnitude.”*

Follow Matthew on Twitter

*This article has been updated.