By Geneva Sands - 12/02/11 07:07 PM EST
"The fact is it's not about any one person … it's about a failure that
seems to be pervasive within Justice. That investigations play fast
and loose with the expectations that of what is right or wrong when it
comes to, I'm going to use the word, collateral damage," said Issa at
a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor Friday.
As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa has been leading an investigation for the past nine months into "Fast and Furious," the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives's (ATF) botched gun-tracking operation that might have contributed to the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Issa has been highly critical of Holder's response to the subsequent investigation, contending the attorney general knew more about Fast and Furious than he told Congress. His committee issued subpoenas directed to Holder and other senior officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in October.
"I'm asking the president to stop having full confidence in Eric Holder unless Eric Holder stops having full confidence in array of people that are part of a problem that has not really been fixed. … Look, stay there and fix it or go, but that's not for me to decide, it's for the president to decide," said Issa about calls for Holder's resignation, Issa said.
"The reason I don't call for people's resignations is because most of the time they haven't done it by malice, political appointees most of the time are not going in to do something wrong and certainly an example like this."
The California congressman told reporters that his main priority is
making sure the system is fixed, so that operations like this aren't
allowed in the future.
He said another reason he is not calling for resignations is that the committee had not yet reached all the conclusions it needs for the investigation.
"Our committee, unfortunately does have a reputation for jumping to the end result," Issa said.
Issa said his investigation is nearing completion and that making reforms within the ATF was one of his top priorities.
For more on Issa's comments, including why he wants to reorganize ATF, click here.