Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and answered questions on Fast and Furious. Senator John Cornyn, Texas Republican, read a litany of grievances against the Attorney General including Mr. Holder’s stonewalling of documentation requested by Congress.
Cornyn said. At the end of his statement, Cornyn called on Eric Holder to resign from his position as Attorney General. Mr. Cornyn is the first Senator to call on AG Holder to resign. Senator Cornyn joins 130 House members and three Senators, all Republican, who have previously called on AG Holder’s resignation.
“You won’t cooperate with legitimate congressional investigation. You won’t answer my questions about gun walking in Texas. You won’t take responsibility for the failures of your inner circle, and you won’t acknowledge what your top aides knowingly misled Congress about over 8 months and won’t hold anyone accountable. So Mr. Attorney General I’m afraid we have come to an impasse,” Cornyn said.
Cornyn continued, “The Leaking of classified information represents a major threat to our national security and your office faces a clear conflict of interest to be willing to appoint a special counsel. You won’t support a truly investigation and you won’t take the threat seriously.”
“You won’t hold anyone, including yourself, accountable. Your department blocks states from implementing attempts to combat voter fraud. In short, you violated the public trust, in my view. By failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office, so you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office. Americans deserve an Attorney General who will be honest with them,” he said.
Attorney General Holder responded, saying: “With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with. It’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy.”
AG Holder later added, “I have no intention of resigning. I’ve heard the White House Press Office today that the president has absolute confidence in me and I don’t have any reason to believe that that is not the case.”
I spoke with Senator Cornyn as he exited the hearing room, who told me he decided to call for Mr. Holder’s resignation because the intel leaks is “the latest in the long line of indications that Mr. Holder is more interested in putting politics ahead of his job at the Department of Justice.”
“The fact that he won’t appoint a truly independent and non-partisan special counsel to investigate these national security leaks whereas every other Attorney General in recent memory has done so with something comparably serious is just the latest in a long line of disappointments.”
The Attorney General repeatedly referred to avoiding a “constitutional crisis” by meeting with Congressman Darrell Issa, California Republican, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Senator Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, alone and discussing ways to releasing Fast and Furious documents the Congress wants before the Contempt vote happens on June 20.
“We have reached out to Chairman Issa, members of the leadership on the House side to work our way through these issues. We had, I think, sporadic contacts. And we are prepared to make…I am prepared to make compromises with regard to the documents that will be made available. There is a basis for the withholding of these documents,” AG Holder told Senator Grassley.
He made the same offer again saying, “Let me make it very clear that I am offering to sit down by myself …I am offering to sit down with the Speaker, with the Chairman, with you (Grassley), whoever to try and work our way through this imminent attempt to avoid a constitutional crisis and come up with ways….ways we can make this material available.”
The Attorney General refused to take questions from press who were waiting for him outside of the hearing and quickly made his way to a motorcade outside of the Dirksen Building. (above)