(WASHINGTON) — Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign Tuesday over the Fast and Furious gun scandal.
Holder was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee where Cornyn expressed his views that the attorney general has not been honest and has been overly political.
“You have defied the lawful and legitimate oversight responsibilities of the House of Representatives and the Senate. You’ve resisted producing documents, you produced about 7,600 out of a pool of at least 80,000 documents,” Cornyn said about documents the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is trying to obtain from the Justice Department as part of the Fast and Furious investigation.
“There’s been zero accountability at the Department of Justice. You won’t appoint a special prosecutor in the face of a potential conflict of interest. You won’t tell the truth about what you know and when you knew it on Fast and Furious. You wont cooperate with a legitimate congressional investigation. You won’t answer my questions about gun walking in Texas. You won’t take any responsibility for the failure of your inner circle.”
“You still resist coming clean about what you knew and when you knew it with regard to Operation Fast and Furious. You won’t cooperate with a legitimate congressional investigation, and you won’t hold anyone, including yourself, accountable. Your department blocks states from implementing attempts to combat voter fraud. In short, you’ve violated the public trust, in my view, and by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office,” Cornyn said.
“So, Mr. Attorney General, it’s more with sorrow than regret or anger that I would say you leave me with no alternative but to join those that call upon you to resign your office,” Cornyn told Holder. “Americans deserve an attorney general that will be honest with them.”
“With all due respect, senator, there is so much factually wrong with the premises you started your statement with it’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracies,” Holder responded.
“I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious,” Holder said.
“I am also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I’m also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorney’s Office that was involved. I’ve overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn’t happen ever again. So I don’t have any intention of resigning. I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. I don’t have any reason to believe that that, in fact, is not — is not the case,” Holder said.
Holder said that the department has been forthcoming with information provided to Congress, “I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials.”
Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Monday that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee would hold a vote on June 20 to consider a move to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress. Issa has alleged that the Justice Department has not responded to the committee’s subpoena seeking internal DOJ documents following the drafting of a Feb. 4, 2011 letter that contained inaccurate information about ATF’s operations.
Earlier in the hearing Holder said he was open to negotiating with Issa.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
David Williams, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN