While flocks of reporters chase Herman Cain around and ask probing questions about ancient and nebulous events nobody will go on the record to discuss in detail, some other news is going sadly underreported. Among these stories are the latest ticks of the Eric Holder Career Death Watch. As the Daily Caller notes, nine more members of Congress have called upon Holder to resign over his role in the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, and the gigantic cover-up that major media sources other than CBS News have barely noticed:
The latest group of members includes Republican Reps. Dan Burton of Indiana, Allen West of Florida, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, Trent Franks of Arizona, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Duncan Hunter of California, Devin Nunes of California and Dennis Ross of Florida.
Burton, who once chaired the House oversight committee that is currently investigating the Justice Department over Operation Fast and Furious, said he has always opposed Holder and didn’t believe he should be confirmed as attorney general in the first place, based on his record of deceiving Congress.
“I think he’s been a mistake from the very beginning,” Burton told TheDC in a phone interview.
“When I was chairman of government reform and oversight during the Clinton administration, we had Holder before my committee a number of times and he misled the committee. In fact, he lied. During his confirmation in the Senate, I sent a letter to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, [Sen. Patrick] Leahy, and I sent it to the other members of the committee as well, and I cited specific cases where Holder had not been straight with the committee and I said he should not be confirmed.”
Burton said Holder’s blatant disregard for the ongoing congressional investigation and the appearance that he lied under oath means he needs to resign now.
“I don’t think he’s a trustworthy attorney general,” he said. “He’s a political animal. He’s more concerned about politics than he is about what’s right for the country.”
(Emphasis mine.) CBS News reports Holder will appear before the House Judiciary Committee to answer further questions about his role in Operation Fast and Furious on December 8. Perhaps we’ll hear more about all the reports he doesn’t read, and operations he doesn’t monitor.
Meanwhile, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight committee, wants to hear more from former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson… in order to shore up the firewall of deniability around Eric Holder, as he obliquely explained in a letter to Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA):
A hearing with Mr. Melson would help the Committee and the American people better understand what mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, how these tactics originated, who did and did not authorize them, and what steps are being taken to ensure that they are not used again.
Our staffs have already conducted transcribed interviews with Mr. Melson and the former Deputy Director of ATF, William Hoover. During those interviews, these officials expressed serious concerns about the controversial tactics employed by the Phoenix Field Division of ATF as part of this operation. They also raised concerns about the manner in which the Department of Justice responded to congressional inquiries. Both officials also stated that they had not been aware of the controversial tactics being used in Operation Fast and Furious, had not authorized those tactics, and had not informed anyone at the Department of Justice headquarters about them. They stated that Operation Fast and Furious originated within the Phoenix Field Division, and that ATF headquarters failed to properly supervise it.
(Emphasis mine.) So Cummings wants to give Ken Melson one more chance to serve as the Fast and Furious fall guy, a role he proved surprisingly unwilling to fill.
Melson has reportedly agreed to testify before the Judiciary Committee, where he’ll have an opportunity to bolster Eric Holder’s strange “incompetence” defense against perjury charges, by testifying the Attorney General was serenely unaware of a massive, supposedly “botched” operation that killed both Mexican and American citizens. It looks like Cummings doesn’t think the Fast and Furious expedition is a “political stunt” and a “deep-sea fishing expedition” any more.
Update: late-breaking reports say Holder will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 8, while House Judiciary gets him on December 8.