Louisiana Republican Rep. John Fleming is now calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation, making him the 56th congressman to demand that Holder step down amid the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.
“The nation’s chief law enforcement officer has created a highly politicized atmosphere at the Department of Justice, and the time has come for him to resign or be fired,” Fleming said in a statement. “Attorney General Eric Holder is either withholding what he knows about Operation Fast and Furious, and the guns that ended up arming Mexican drug cartels, or he is incompetent for not knowing how the secret program worked.”
Fleming has also been vocal about Holder’s refusal to provide documents and emails related to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in shaping the Obama administration’s legal defense for Obamacare while she was the administration’s solicitor general. Fleming argues that Holder’s lack of transparency throughout the Fast and Furious scandal is just as bad as his refusal to provide the Kagan emails.
“The same goes for questions surrounding then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s involvement in preparing a legal defense for Obamacare,” Fleming said. “”Either the attorney general is stonewalling against congressional requests for information or he is clueless for being unable to answer simple questions about how and why the solicitor general would have been excluded from discussions about Obamacare within DOJ. Either way the attorney general is responsible and is showing a total lack of leadership and transparency.”
Fleming adds that he thinks Holder’s “tenure” running the DOJ has been an “absolute disaster” and that “change is needed throughout the Department of Justice, but it must begin at the top.”
“Fast and Furious and the Obamacare meetings are the latest in a series of DOJ actions with political ramifications,” Fleming said. “Prior to these failings, Holder was responsible for the 2009 dropping of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case, his defense of civilian trials for terrorists captured on the field of battle, and the filing of lawsuits against states that have tried to protect themselves from illegal immigration.”
Fleming joins 55 of his House colleagues, two senators, four presidential candidates and two sitting governors in demanding Holder’s resignation.
Fast and Furious was a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program overseen by the DOJ. The operation facilitated the sale of thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers. Straw purchasers are people who legally purchase guns in the United States with the known intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else. In Fast and Furious, the straw purchasers were known to be trafficking the weapons into Mexico, effectively arming Mexican drug cartels.
At least 300 people in Mexico were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, as was U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.