U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should resign because of his poor handling of probes into a federal gun investigation and leaks of classified information, a U.S. senator said.
John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, called for the attorney general’s resignation today at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where the attorney general testified. He joins dozens of House Republicans and at least three other senators in calling for Holder to step down.
“You’ve violated the public trust, in my view, by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office,” Cornyn said. “It’s more sorrow than regret than anger that I would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those that call upon you to resign your office.”
Holder told lawmakers that he acted appropriately and doesn’t have “any intention of resigning.”
Holder, a target of Republicans since soon after taking office in February 2009, is facing a contempt vote in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on June 20. The panel has demanded documents related to Fast and Furious, a law enforcement operation that allowed illegal U.S. weapons purchases to wind up at crime scenes in Mexico. Holder has said the tactics were “misguided” and wouldn’t be used again.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters today that more than 7,000 pages of documents were given to Congress and the attacks on Holder are “nothing more than politics.”
Cornyn said Holder misled Congress about the gun investigation, and said the Justice Department faces a “clear conflict of interest” in its investigation into leaks of classified national security information.
“You won’t support a truly independent investigation,” Cornyn said.
Holder said he has “great faith” in two U.S. attorneys he named to lead investigations into leaks of classified information. Holder rejected Republican lawmakers’ calls for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor.