Saying Eric Holder is "either lying or grossly incompetent,' 1st Congressional District Rep. Raul Labrador today called for the attorney general's resignation.
Labrador has joined a list of Republicans criticizing Holder's May 3 testimony about Operation Fast and Furious, a gun trafficking network established in an attempt to infiltrate Mexican drug cartels.
"It is clear from recently released documents that Mr. Holder did in fact know about Fast and Furious well before he publicly admitted," said Labrador in a news release.
"It is clear he has not been honest about the extent of his involvement with the failed Fast and Furious program and should not be entrusted with managing the Department of Justice. He cannot avoid responsibility for his involvement with a government program that directly led to the tragic death of a decorated U.S. Border Patrol agent."
Federal agents have lost track of 1,400 of the more than 2,000 weapons identified in the program, according to a Hearst Newspapers report. Two of the weapons were found in December 2010, at the scene where border patrol agent Brian Terry was found dead.
President Obama today expressed his confidence in Holder.
Here's the full Labrador news release:
Today, Idaho First Congressional District Congressman Raúl R. Labrador called for the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder after evidence of discrepancies in his previous testimony before the House Committee on the Judiciary was brought to light by a national media outlet.
Mr. Labrador has been critical of potential abuses of the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BAFTE) since his March 17, 2011 letter to Oversight Chairman Darrel Issa urging his committee to conduct in-depth investigations into allegations of weapons being sold, with federal government complicity, to Mexican cartels. Over 1,500 such weapons remain unaccounted for and already one was found at the scene of the death of an American law enforcement officer.
Labrador stated, “I first learned about Fast and Furious early this year from several of my constituents. I then asked Chairman Issa to hold hearings on the topic. As I attended the hearings and reviewed the evidence, I was careful to not jump to any conclusions about the extent of Mr. Holder’s involvement. However, the recently published documents that directly link Mr. Holder to Fast and Furious have convinced me that he is either lying or grossly incompetent.”
Rep. Labrador continued, “The attorney general of the United States has an obligation to provide truthful and accurate testimony to Congress. When Attorney General Eric Holder testified before Congress on May 3, his statements were either untrue or deliberately misleading. It is clear from recently released documents that Mr. Holder did in fact know about Fast and Furious well before he publicly admitted. Attorney General Holder has a troubling pattern of failed cooperation with the legislative branch. Because of this intentional stonewalling and his misleading testimony, I now call for Mr. Holder’s resignation. It is clear he has not been honest about the extent of his involvement with the failed Fast and Furious program and should not be entrusted with managing the Department of Justice.“
“He cannot avoid responsibility for his involvement with a government program that directly led to the tragic death of a decorated U.S. Border Patrol agent. As our nation’s top enforcer of the principles of law and justice, Mr. Holder has lost all credibility and should step down immediately. The question now is if Mr. Holder is he only protecting himself or is he also protecting others — perhaps all the way to the top of the administration,” Labrador concluded.