Pressure is growing on the Obama administration to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate attorney general Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, with Sen. John McCain the latest to suggest such a move may be warranted.
McCain told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren that he has discussed the issue with fellow Arizona members of Congress and they will come to a decision within days.
“The majority of this activity took place in Arizona,” McCain said of Fast and Furious, a scheme in which agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were told not to intervene to prevent guns being sold to smugglers with ties to Mexican drug cartels.
“We are talking about it, and we will reach a decision in the next day or two,” he added. “We are leaning towards it, but I want to talk with the whole delegation and act as a unified delegation. We all represent the state of Arizona.”
Earlier on Tuesday McCain attacked Holder on Twitter. He tweeted, ““What part of Q, ‘When did you first know about the program known as Fast and Furious?’ didn’t AG Holder understand?” The remark was retweeted by Rep. Darrell Issa, who has been leading investigations into the scheme in the House.
Under Fast and Furious, guns bought in the United States were supposed to be traced with the idea that they would lead agents to Mexican drug kingpins. But most of the 1,400 weapons went missing. The scheme was run out of the Phoenix area ATF office and guns bought under the scheme were found at the scene where Border Agent Brian Terry was murdered in Arizona in December 2010.
Both Senators from Arizona, McCain and Jon Kyl, are Republicans as are five of the state’s eight members of the House.
Holder has come under increasing pressure to clarify what he knew about Fast and Furious and when he knew it. Rep. Lamar Smith, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has already written to President Barack Obama asking him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.
Holder told the Judiciary Committee on May 3, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” However emails have since been uncovered that show he was told about the project as far back as June 2010.
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