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 Himpton HolderObamas discuss pandemic, voting, anxiety and community in new podcast Joy Reid debut delivers 2.6 million viewers for MSNBC The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Republicans rejigger summer convention plans MORE to continue as attorney general.
 
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarArizona Rep. Paul Gosar wins GOP primary  Trade negotiations mustn't short-circuit domestic debate House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks 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.”
 

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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 FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (Ariz.), David SchweikertDavid SchweikertDemocrat Hiral Tipirneni wins Ariz. primary to challenge Rep. David Schweikert Ethics watchdog finds 'substantial' evidence of improper spending by Rep. Sanford Bishop House votes to sanction Schweikert over ethics violations MORE (Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Paul BrounPaul Collins BrounHundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia Joe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia California lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment MORE (Ga.), Lynn Jenkins (Kan.), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.), Kenny Marchant (Texas), Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdThe biggest political upsets of the decade Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations 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 SensenbrennerFrank (Jim) James SensenbrennerHillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs Jordan confronts tech CEOs over claims of anti-conservative bias 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.
 
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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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill GOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again 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.