Rep. Gosar: Holder's Alibi Shows He's Lying or Useless

Wednesday, 12 Oct 2011 07:50 PM

By Martin Gould and Kathleen Walter

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Attorney General Eric Holder should lose his job because his own statements on the Fast and Furious scandal show that he is either a liar or a failure, Rep. Paul Gosar tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.

“He needs to resign,” the Arizona Republican said. “I don’t see there is a way here that facilitates good, conscientious oversight at the Department of Justice.

“If he had no oversight and he knew nothing about this, he was incompetent. If he knew about this, then he was lying — and that’s perjury.”

Story continues below video.



Holder told the House Justice Committee in May that he had known about Operation Fast and Furious for only “a few weeks,” but newly released emails show he was told in July 2010. The attorney general now says he did not read those emails, which he said were routine briefings that went into no detail.

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Gosar, a member of the House Oversight Committee, was speaking within hours of subpoenas being issued by committee Chairman Darrell Issa requiring reams of internal documents that should show what Holder knew about the Mexican gunrunning scheme. Issa, a California Republican, also has alleged that Holder has shown incompetence regarding Fast and Furious and wants to know exactly when the attorney general learned about it.

“If it was mainstream America that had done this, they ought to be in jail and having to prove that they are innocent,” said Gosar, whose district covers Flagstaff and vast swaths of rural Arizona, the state at the center of the Fast and Furious project.

“If there is one thing that the America needs, it’s confidence in their bureaucrats, that they stand by the same rules that they are enforcing on other people.”

Holder verbally attacked Gosar last week for his comments that administration officials are “accessories to murder” for allowing Fast and Furious, the scheme that saw hundreds of powerful weapons fall into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartels.

Two U.S. agents — Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and Immigration officer Jaime Zapata — were killed with weapons that should have been traced under the project but were lost.

In his Newsmax interview, Gosar refused to retract his statement. “I stand by those remarks,” he said. “When people have died, someone has to take accountability.

“This is the first time that . . . I know of . . . that we lose American citizens their lives, plus Mexican people their lives, because we put guns — not just little guns, .50-caliber weapons, AK47s, these are military-like weapons — in the hands of criminals and then we did no surveillance or tracking.

“We were just asking for a problem to happen. Deaths have occurred, and they will continue,” he predicted.

“These weapons have shown up at crime scenes in greater metropolitan Phoenix, where they have been used to orchestrate crimes. We’ve seen it in El Paso, Texas, plus we have seen it on the other side of the border, with over 150 Mexicans losing their lives.

“We put our men and women on the ground . . . in harm’s way because now [the cartels] have got more weapons and higher-powered weapons that over-arm them versus our sheriffs and police officers.”

Gosar, a freshman congressman affiliated with the tea party, said he is confident that the real story of who authorized the failed scheme will eventually come out. “It has to. I don’t think there is a choice,” he said.

He vowed that the committee will submit all of the paperwork that surfaces under the 22-point subpoena to painstaking review. “There are consequences here and what we have to do is follow the information, find the facts, make sure the American people and Congress are provided with those facts and then make a decision based on those facts.”

Gosar said he does not know whether the cover-up goes all the way into the White House, but he is sure that Holder is not telling the whole truth. And other Cabinet members, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, also should have known about the gunrunning program, he said.

“Something is very wrong here,” he said. “Mr. Holder said he was briefed on it a couple of weeks before his testimony when it is obvious that his aides had very intricate knowledge and very minuscule details on Fast and Furious way back last year.

“He should have known about this.

“To me it seems that you are dealing with a foreign country, so the secretary of State should have been involved. Then there’s the security of our southern borders, that’s the Homeland Security secretary, as well as the attorney general.

“That seems like this was a Cabinet-level decision, so it seems like everybody should have been in there and we really want to make sure that discourse is transparent to the American people.”

Gosar would not be drawn into addressing the claim of Arizona State Sen. Frank Antenori, who told Fox News he believes that Holder’s announcement of an Iranian terror plot on Tuesday was timed to take attention away from the subpoenas.

But he did say, “It’s great to take accountability for your successes but you also need to take responsibility for something that you did wrong.”

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