Sheriff Babeu: Fast and Furious mastermind should ‘face criminal charges’

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Pinal County, Ariz. Sheriff Paul Babeu, a Republican congressional candidate, told The Daily Caller he thinks Attorney General Eric Holder “perjured himself” before Congress when testifying about Operation Fast and Furious.

“I believe that [Holder], and many sheriffs in Arizona believe that, he has perjured himself,” Babeu said during an interview with TheDC at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. “His story has changed. After there was evidence produced that he did know — he was given briefings, he was given emails — he then started to walk back his statements to say that, ‘well, I misunderstood the question.'”

“As a police officer before I was a sheriff, when somebody I’m talking to starts to change their story — that’s a clue they’re not telling the truth,” Babeu continued. “So, this guy is in charge of the Department of Justice, still — to this day — from Dec. 15, 2010, so it’s been over a year and there’s still been no accountability, we still don’t know who’s approved this program. How can that be? In the Department of What?”

Babeu went on to say that he thinks Holder should have resigned long ago and that President Barack Obama should fire him. “I believe that whoever made these decisions to facilitate [the sale of] 2,000 high-powered weapons into the hands of the drug cartels that we’re fighting in Arizona — they should face criminal charges,” Babeu added.

Babeu said that as a candidate for Congress, he hears about Fast and Furious from voters across Arizona on a regular basis.

“Time and time again, we see our Constitution trampled upon by this government — by Eric Holder, by Janet Napolitano [the Secretary of Homeland Security], by Barack Obama — they’re suing my state and they need to stop suing my state, we’re trying to enforce the law,” Babeu said. “So it’s those issues in combination with the most important issues facing our country which is our economy. It’s the same assault against our free market, capitalist society that we’re trying to turn our back from the greatness of our country, which has made us strong.”

There are currently 103 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who think Holder should resign or be fired, have signed an official resolution expressing “no confidence” in him, or both, as the two lists don’t perfectly overlap. In addition, three U.S. senators, two sitting governors and all major Republican presidential candidates have demanded Holder’s resignation or firing too. (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)

As former Texas Solicitor General and current Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz also told TheDC, Babeu thinks that’s hardly enough noise from Congress. Babeu said he thinks every member of Congress needs to step up and take a stand on this issue.

“This is supposed to be the top prosecutor in our country,” Babeu said, referring to Holder. “And he has been clearly giving misleading, I believe, direct lies, to Congress and has covered this up. This is a scandal that exceeds anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes — Watergate or anything else — because people have been killed. People have died as a result of these decisions and we still don’t know who approved this?”

Babeu also said that he thinks there’s now enough evidence to support the claims that Fast and Furious was an attempt on the part of the Obama administration to “go after our Second Amendment rights.”

“It used to be dismissed as a wild-eyed right-wing conspiracy that the government could be behind this, could be giving weapons to the cartels and then blaming it on America, blaming it on our law-abiding gun dealers,” Babeu said. “Well, low and behold, that’s exactly what’s happened.”

Babeu also said that there has been bipartisan disapproval of Holder and Fast and Furious among Arizona’s elected sheriffs.

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Matthew Boyle