Labrador Votes to Hold Attorney General Eric Holder in ContemptWednesday June 20, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today Idaho First District Congressman Raúl Labrador voted with the majority of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his role in the Department of Justice withholding evidence from the Committee in the botched Fast and Furious scandal. The gun-running operation resulted in the death of United States Border Patrol agent Brian Terry as well as hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens. The vote was 23-17.
Statement of Congressman Raúl Labrador on Eric Holder Contempt of Congress vote:
“It has been over a year since this committee first requested and then demanded full documentation of DOJ files regarding this terrible operation. We sought basic answers: who authorized it, when they authorized it and why they continued to authorize it. Attorney General Holder has evaded questions and provided false information in an attempt to stonewall this committee from discovering the truth, and he must be held accountable for these actions.”
“When he testified before the committee last year, there were several inconsistencies in his testimony and past statements regarding Operation Fast and Furious, which left me to conclude that he is either lying or grossly incompetent. Mr. Holder has long since lost my faith in his ability to do his job and it has been many months since I was the first Member of Congress to officially call upon him to resign.”
“Two days ago George E. McCubbin III, the president of the National Border Patrol Council which represents all of the agency’s 17,000 non-supervisory agents called on Eric Holder to resign, saying the attorney general has shown ‘an utter failure of leadership at the highest levels of government.’ He even went on to say, ‘the standard that applies to these agents should at a minimum be applied to those who lead them. If Eric Holder were a Border Patrol agent and not the attorney general, he would have long ago been found unsuitable for government employment and terminated.’”
“I could not agree with Mr. McCubbin more. I commend Chairman Issa and the Committee members for their leadership today in taking this important vote on behalf of justice for the family of Brian Terry.”
Operation Fast and Furious refers to the program operated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BAFTE) which implemented a series of gun-walking sting operations between 2006 and 2011. This program was intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by intercepting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States. Gun-walking was the tactic by which the BAFTE knowingly allowed thousands of guns to be bought by suspected arms traffickers and sell them to straw purchasers on behalf of Mexican drug cartels. More than 2,000 weapons were sold and hundreds of these remain unaccounted for. Scores of Mexican citizens as well as U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry were killed with Fast and Furious guns.