The number of signers on the House Resolution of “no confidence” in Attorney General Eric Holder surged over the century mark on Thursday as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a former Republican presidential candidate, inked her name on the measure.
No one in government has been held accountable for Operation Fast and Furious since U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with weapons his own government gave to the Mexican drug cartels more than a year ago.
“Today I joined 99 of my colleagues in publicly proclaiming that we have lost all confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder, through my cosponsorship of House Resolution 490,” Bachmann said in a statement.
“I thank Congressman [Paul] Gosar for leading the effort to expose the Attorney General’s failed leadership in his post. I have long believed that Attorney General Holder is inadequate for his position. I actually called on him to resign in 2010 because of his missteps on Wikileaks and the handling of the underwear bomber. Operation Fast and Furious is the latest failure by Attorney General Holder, and I believe our nation deserves better.”
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, the resolution’s sponsor, told The Daily Caller that Holder is “here to uphold the Constitution and the rules and laws of this country, not to pick and choose.”
“And he is bound by the same rules,” Gosar said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. “Therefore, I hope that the chairman [of the House oversight committee, California Rep. Darrell Issa], is considering the contempt charges that he promised if we did not get the documentation.”
Holder has withheld about 74,000 pages of lawfully subpoenaed documents and information from Congress related to the Operation Fast and Furious gunwalking program, providing Issa’s committee with only about 6,000 pages of documents. (RELATED: Full coverage of Eric Holder)
Holder has given his own Inspector General at the Department of Justice some 80,000 pages.
Many members of Congress demanding Holder’s resignation are doing so based solely on what is contained in those 6,000 pages the DOJ has provided to Issa. Whatever is in the other 74,000 pages may be even more damning to him and other officials in the Obama administration.
“We are entitled to that information,” Gosar told TheDC. “We are here on behalf of the American people and we mean business.”
Bachmann had already called for Holder’s resignation several times, including while she was running for president. But like many other members calling for Holder to step down, she hadn’t signed the resolution until now.
House Resolution 490 is a formal way to exhibit Congress’ disdain for Holder as the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious proceeds. It may also be one of the initial steps toward removing Holder from office if he neither complies with Issa’s subpoena nor resigns his office.
Those steps also include moving to hold Holder in contempt of Congress, something that Issa, who is leading the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious with Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, has already laid the groundwork to do if necessary. Yet another path could involve the appointment of a special prosecutor, a tactic that Arizona Republican Rep. Ben Quayle hopes to accomplish with a similar resolution he recently introduced.
Other new signatories to the “no confidence” resolution include House Republican Policy Committee chairman Rep. Tom Price of Georgia and Reps. Ken Calvert of California, Sam Johnson of Texas, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Rob Bishop of Utah and Steve Southerland of Florida.
In addition to that group, three new members told The Daily Caller they think Holder needs to resign: Reps. Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, Mike Simpson of Idaho and John Sullivan of Oklahoma. All three are Republicans.
The total number of House members either demanding Holder’s resignation or expressing no confidence in his job performance — or both — stands at 118.
Gosar said he will keep fighting until all questions are answered and until everyone responsible for Fast and Furious, including Holder, is held accountable.
“We are going to persist until we get this information,” he said. “The attorney general must comply with all the rules and the laws of this country; that’s what our forefathers and that’s what our Constitution is about.”
“He knows about this program [Fast and Furious],” Gosar added. “He’s stalling. And I think it’s very egregious and outright horrible what he impugned in our last hearing: that the collateral damage, not only Brian Terry but those in Mexico, were an acceptable collateral for this program.”
“The American people need to stand up and hold Mr. Holder accountable, as well as everybody in that administration and the DOJ who authorized this oversight.”
Joining the 118 House members who have taken action on Holder over the gunwalking scandal are three U.S. Senators, two sitting governors and all the major GOP presidential candidates.