House GOP proposes ‘lost confidence’ resolution on Attorney General Holder

Nearly two-dozen Republicans are backing legislation stating that Congress has lost confidence in Eric HolderEric H. HolderPerez and Ellison an unlikely duo to help Democrats start winning Report: Uber exec resigns after failing to disclose past sexual harassment accusation Perez wins bid to lead Democratic Party MORE to continue as attorney general.
 
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Paul GosarPaul GosarA guide to the committees: House Trump administration doesn't care about the housing needs of low-income people Freedom Caucus meets with senators on ObamaCare replacement MORE (R-Ariz.) and supported by 21 GOP co-sponsors, resolves “that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress has lost confidence in the Attorney General of the United States.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT
Gosar pointed to Holder’s role, as the head of the Justice Department, in overseeing a botched gun-tracking operation called Fast and Furious as the main reason for the diminished level of confidence.
 
He said he hopes the resolution would bring an added level of public awareness to the debate over whether Holder is fit to serve as the country’s top law enforcement officer.
 
“By filing this resolution, we are anticipating a debate on the House floor and a floor vote,” Gosar said in a news release. “This will bring needed inquiry, exposure and transparency to the issue itself.”
 
An aide on the House Judiciary Committee, where the resolution was referred to be marked up, said the panel did not have plans to consider the measure before the end of the year. It has not finalized its legislative schedule for next year, the aide said.
 
Republicans have been investigating and heavily scrutinizing Holder and the Obama administration over the operation for the majority of the year. Both Holder and Obama have said they did not authorize Fast and Furious and that they will hold those who did responsible.
 
Republicans said the operation — which oversaw the sale of about 2,000 weapons to known and suspected straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels — is indicative of an incompetent agency and that Holder must take responsibility for it because it occured under his watch.
 
“It is imperative that the citizens of our nation have confidence in our Attorney General,” Gosar said in the release. “After months of evasive answers, silence and outright lies, it is time that Congress speak up on behalf of the many people who have or will fall victims to the firearms in the flawed gunrunning operation Fast & Furious.”
 
The resolution is backed by Republican Reps. Trent FranksTrent FranksGOP rep: Nuke could enter US hidden in marijuana bales A guide to the committees: House Flynn puts FBI director back in spotlight MORE (Ariz.), David SchweikertDavid SchweikertA guide to the committees: House A guide to the committees: Senate Lawmakers introduce the Blockchain Caucus MORE (Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Paul BrounPaul BrounCalifornia lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner The Trail 2016: Let’s have another debate! MORE (Ga.), Lynn Jenkins (Kan.), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.), Kenny Marchant (Texas), Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Blake FarentholdBlake FarentholdA guide to the committees: House Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog Report on warrantless surveillance shows Congress must update privacy laws MORE (Texas), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Jeff Landry (La.), Dan Burton (Ind.), Alan Nunnelee (Miss.), Francisco Canseco (Texas), Vicky Hartzler (Mo.), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Walter Jones (N.C.) and Allen West (Fla.).
 
Holder came under fire last week before the Judiciary Committee over the operation, with Rep. Jim SensenbrennerJames SensenbrennerA guide to the committees: House House group seeks alternatives on encryption fight Congress should learn from states on civil asset forfeiture MORE (R-Wis.) suggesting that impeachment charges could be brought against the attorney general if Republicans continue to feel as though the administration is blocking their attempts to get more information about the program.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Holder maintains that DOJ has complied with congressional subpoenas and requests for information as much as possible, citing several ongoing criminal cases involved with the operation and an independent investigation by the DOJ’s inspector general that has been under way for nine months.
 
One of the issues on which Republicans have focused their anger is a February letter from the DOJ to Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGOP senator grilled over DeVos vote during town hall Big Pharma must address high drug prices ­ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate MORE (R-Iowa), in which the agency stated that it did not let guns “walk” — willingly enter the hands of suspected criminals with no plan to intercept or repossess them.
 
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have testified, and documents uncovered by congressional investigators have revealed, that the operation did in fact let guns “walk,” a practice that began on a smaller scale in a separate operation during President George W. Bush’s administration.  
 
In an unprecedented move, Holder turned over scores of internal DOJ emails to lawmakers earlier this month in an attempt to show that the agency was acting on information that it believed true. Holder has said repeatedly that DOJ officials did not intentionally mislead members of Congress.  
 
According to the Daily Caller, 56 lawmakers have called for Holder’s resignation.

This story was updated at 4:03 p.m.