GOP lawmaker to push measure calling for Holder’s ‘immediate resignation’

Republican Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.) plans to introduce a measure expressing "no confidence" in Attorney General Eric Holder, as he did in the last Congress. But this time, he’s demanding the top cop’s resignation.

Gosar’s resolution calls for Holder’s “immediate resignation,” expresses a lack of confidence in the attorney general and blames him for letting the failed gun-walking operation “Fast and Furious” go on during his tenure.

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More than 110 Republicans backed a similar “no confidence” bill from Gosar last year — though House leadership never took it up — and the second-term lawmaker is betting he’ll get even more support this go-around with calls for Holder to step down.

Gosar’s reintroduction of the resolution on Wednesday comes as Congress and President Obama begin to tackle the complicated and highly thorny issue of gun control, with the first hearings slated for the Senate in two weeks.

“We’ve lost confidence and we need our chief law enforcement officer to uphold the Constitution and be above reprise, especially when we are starting to talk about the president bringing up gun control,” said Gosar in an interview with The Hill.

“I find it egregious that the attorney general within the DOJ was responsible for the organizations that orchestrated Fast and Furious.”

Gosar’s resolution calls specific attention to Holder’s role in the failed gun-tracking operation, which oversaw the sale of nearly 2,000 guns to known criminals — many of which were lost — and may have contributed to the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The Justice Department’s (DOJ) inspector general report cleared Holder of any direct wrongdoing, but House Republicans led a successful vote placing him in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Issa had investigated the DOJ and the failed operation for 18 months.

More than 100 Republicans called for his resignation last Congress, but neither chamber ever took up a legislative effort to try and remove him from office.

Holder stated earlier this month that he plans to stay on as head of the DOJ for Obama’s second term and he has positioned himself at the center of administration talks on possible gun control actions the White House could take.

Gosar’s resolution blames Holder for leading the DOJ while “Fast and Furious” was under way. Holder requested the IG investigation and halted the operation shortly after learning about it for the first time. But Gosar contends that Holder is an incompetent attorney general for not stopping the operation sooner.

The Arizona Republican’s resolution also states that hundreds of Mexicans have been killed with the weapons sold during “Fast and Furious” and that “the people of the United States will likely also incur further violence as a result of this operation.”

Gosar’s resolution recalls a letter that was written by DOJ to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2011 falsely denying that it ever let guns “walk” — or travel unsupervised in the hands of suspected or known criminals.

The measure also lays out Holder’s refusal and the president’s use of executive privilege to deny Issa’s panel access to internal DOJ documents covering the time after the Grassley letter was written. Those refusals led the House to place him in contempt of Congress and have landed Holder in the midst of a civil lawsuit with Issa’s Oversight Committee.

“I think we were led astray on a number of issues and they’re outright refusal to let us see the documents I think is an outright reprisal against the Constitution,” said Gosar.

The “no confidence” resolution that was introduced in the last Congress was never brought before the House Judiciary Committee by its former chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Gosar said he has yet to talk with the panel’s new chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), about the prospects of the measure.