The Florida Republican says Holder handled a gun trafficking operation ineptly.
Rep. Allen West, one of two Black Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, thinks President Obama should force Attorney General Eric Holder to resign because of the controversy surrounding a program conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Explosives Firearms (ATF) called “Operation Fast and Furious.”
The program was essentially a sting operation that allowed “straw purchasers” authorized by the agencies to run guns in Mexico to find weapons and drug traffickers. Unfortunately, the ATF, which is part of DOJ, didn’t adequately monitor of all of the guns and some of them are turning up in crime scenes, including the Arizona-Mexico border where a border patrol agent was killed in December.
In an interview with Nashville radio host Steve Gill last week, West said, “The president needs to realize that Eric Holder needs to be removed from the Department of Justice,”The Daily Caller reports.
If Obama doesn’t push Holder out, West added, the president would be “complicit” in what he called Justice Department’s attempts to thwart a congressional investigation of the operation.
“This is just another sad chapter in the Eric Holder book of ineptness and incompetence,” West said.
Acting ATF director Kenneth Melson and his personal attorney met secretly with congressional lawmakers on July 4 and testified that DOJ has sought to “limit and control his communications with Congress,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-California) and Sen. Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a letter to Holder.
“The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities,” they said, and urged the Department of Justice to be “much more candid and forthcoming” as their investigations continue.