Threatened with Contempt, Attorney General Holder Refuses to Resign

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Attorney General Eric Holder, rejected Republican requests for his resignation on Tuesday, after Republican Senator John Cornyn delivered harsh criticism toward Holder at today’s Senate hearing stating,

“Americans deserve an attorney general that will be honest with them, they deserve an attorney general who will uphold the basic standards of political independence and accountability. You’ve proven time and time again, sadly, that you’re unwilling to do so.”

In response to pressure from top Republicans, Holder explained that he has no intention of resigning and subsequently accused Republicans of simply playing politics. He personally accused his critic, Sen. Cornyn, of grave inaccuracies in regards to the situation.

The call for Holders resignation comes after the failed gun running sting operation known as “Fast and Furious”, and an ongoing security leak probe.

Operation “Fast and Furious”, which came to national attention in 2011, involved the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives knowingly selling over 2,000 firearms to be purchased by suspected arms traffickers on behalf of Mexican drug cartels. The bureau planned to track the guns with the ultimate goal of capturing and arresting high-level cartel figures. Over a thousand of those guns were lost after they crossed the border, with the agency unable to track their whereabouts.

As of October of last year, only 700 weapons had been recovered, and their retrieval lead to the arrest of no key cartel members. The botched operation has received much scrutiny and attention from media and government as an immense failure. The lost firearms have been linked to multiple crimes, including the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. Sting operations such as this one have now been prohibited.

Criticized in his handling of this case, Holder has yet to hand over requested documents involving the sting operation, but has told Republicans that he is willing to work out a deal in order to avoid a possible contempt vote by the House. Holder stated on Tuesday,

 “I am prepared to make compromises with regards to the documents to be made available.”

So far Holder has made it clear to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he has the authority to withhold documents even when sought by congressional subpoenas.

Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, stated Monday that President Obama still maintains “absolute confidence” in Attorney General Holder. The House Oversight Committee however, plans to consider contempt charges against Holder next week for failing to provide information on “Fast and Furious”.