The White House said Wednesday that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was “consistent and truthful” in his testimony to Congress over the “Fast and Furious” weapons investigation.
“The president believes he’s an excellent attorney general and has great confidence in him, and we absolutely know that the testimony he gave was consistent and truthful,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
Newly obtained Justice Department memos show that Mr. Holder was told about the controversial program to let U.S. weapons enter Mexico for use by the drug cartels as early as July 2010, apparently contradicting testimony he gave before a House Committee in May that he found out about it only weeks before.
Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has called on President Obama to instruct the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel in the matter, but Mr. Carney rebuffed that request.
“I think it’s the biannual call for a special counsel by this particular congressman,” Mr. Carney said. “Once every six months, we hear something similar.”
Mr. Smith replied that he has requested three special counsels in the past four years.
“If the Obama administration would stop stonewalling and misleading Congress, I wouldn’t have to call for a special counsel,” Mr. Smith said in a statement. “I wrote to Attorney General Holder earlier this year requesting information on Fast and Furious, and it took his office five months to respond and even then it was nonresponsive.”
“Allegations that the Attorney General may have misled Congress are very serious. It’s unfortunate that administration officials like Mr. Carney want to make light of Congress’s concerns,” Mr. Smith said.