Attorney General Eric Holder has attempted to defend himself from perjury charges with two novel excuses. The first was that his grasp of the English language is extremely weak, and he didn’t really understand the blindingly clear questions he was asked by Congress.
The second is Holder’s claim that he was telling the truth when he said he didn’t know about Operation Fast and Furious, because while CBS News found hard evidence that he was sent a memo, he routinely fails to read important correspondence from his assistants.
Any hope that the backup “incompetence” defense would work, if the primary “stupid” defense failed, was dashed when the officials Holder lied to under oath, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), revealed that Holder was sent not one memo about Fast and Furious, but five. He was issued briefings four weeks in a row. As Big Government reports:
The Attorney General told Issa during a House Judiciary Committee in May 2011 that he had just learned of Fast and Furious a few weeks before. Yet, on January 31, in a previously scheduled meeting, Grassley personally handed him two letters about Fast and Furious. Grassley and Issa said they find it very troubling that Holder actually knew of Operation Fast and Furious much earlier, and in greater detail than he ever let on.
The memos specifically said that the straw buyers were “responsible for the purchase of 1500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”
“With the fairly detailed information that the Attorney General read, it seems the logical question for the Attorney General after reading in the memo would be “why haven’t we stopped them?” Grassley said. “And if he didn’t ask the questions, why didn’t he or somebody in his office?”
“Attorney General Holder has failed to give Congress and the American people an honest account of what he and other senior Justice Department officials knew about gunwalking and Operation Fast and Furious. The lack of candor and honesty from our nation’s chief law enforcement officials in this matter is deeply disturbing,” Issa said.
Here is what President Obama said, when expressing his “full confidence” in Eric Holder at a press conference on Thursday:
Now, with respect to Solyndra and Fast and Furious, I think I’ve been very clear that I have complete confidence in Attorney General Holder in how he handles his office. He has been very aggressive in going after gun running and cash transactions that are going to these transnational drug cartels in Mexico. There has been a lot of cooperation between the United States and Mexico on this front. He’s indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious; certainly I was not. And I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if somebody had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America.
He has assigned an Inspector General to look into how exactly this happened, and I have complete confidence in him and I’ve got complete confidence in the process to figure out who, in fact, was responsible for that decision and how it got made.
Holder’s own statements make it logically impossible to believe he is both honest and competent. Either he committed perjury, or he ignores multiple important briefings about sensitive projects, and has no idea what the agencies he is nominally in charge of are doing.
Either way, a responsible chief executive would ask him to step down immediately. With Obama, politics trumps even the faintest notion of responsibility, regarding either the vast amounts of money he wants to seize, or the vast amounts of power his government exercises.